Siamak Namazi/Nada Sharqi/Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley
Siamak Namazi, Imad Sharqi, and Murad Tahbaz were among the Americans believed to have been involved in the deal.
The US government has classified all five Americans as unjustly detained.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Al-Kanaani said in a press conference broadcast on the state-owned Press TV channel on Monday that the release process “hopefully will be completed” along with other elements of the deal.
A source familiar with the details of the matter told CNN on Monday afternoon local time that the detainees are being transferred to a Qatari plane, which is on standby in Iran to bring the five Americans to Doha.
Under the agreement between the United States and Iran, $6 billion of Iranian funds that were held in restricted accounts in South Korea will be transferred to restricted accounts in banks in Qatar. Qatar informed Iranian and American officials that the money was transferred from Switzerland to bank accounts in Qatar, according to a source familiar with the details of the matter.
Sources told CNN that the money came from permitted oil sales and was placed in accounts set up under the Trump administration. Biden administration officials stressed that the money transferred to accounts in Qatar will only be able to be used by Iran for humanitarian purchases and every transaction will be monitored by the US Treasury Department.
The agreement also includes the release of five Iranians detained by the United States.
The release of the Americans will represent a major diplomatic breakthrough after years of complex indirect negotiations between Washington and Tehran.
The three publicly known to be part of the deal – Imad Sharqi, Mourad Tahbaz, and Siamak Namazi – have been imprisoned for more than five years. Namazi has been detained since 2015. The identity of the other Americans is unknown.
This is a developing story. It will be updated…
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