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Iran Releases Jason Rezaian, Jailed Washington Post Reporter

Reporter was held since July 2014

Iran released Jason Rezaian, the jailed Washington Post reporter, along with three other Iranian-Americans in a prisoner swap with the United States on Saturday.

The four Americans were exchanged for seven people imprisoned or charged in the United States, according to international media reports citing Iranian officials and local Iranian television.

The exchange was part of the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal struck between the two countries in 2015.

Rezaian, 39, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, was arrested in July 2014. Iranian officials said Rezaian was freed on Saturday from Tehran’s Evin Prison after 18 months of captivity and was to be flown out of the country immediately with the three other released detainees, according to the Washington Post.

Iranian news media said the released prisoners included Rezaian; Amir Hekmati, a Marine veteran; and Saeed Abedini, a pastor. The fourth individual was not clearly identified.

The Associated Press quoted a U.S. official as confirming that seven Iranians were being freed as part of the deal and that Iran would release a fifth American, a student detained in Tehran some months ago, separately from the exchange.

The prisoner swap appeared to coincide with the imminent announcement of the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Iran, the most significant part of a nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers last July.