(Image via msn.com)
Business Manager: Brendan Flaherty
On Tuesday, September 19th, five Americans were finally brought back to American soil after many years of being held prisoner in Iran.
Three of the prisoners, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and Siamak Namazi, along with two publicly unnamed people, were finally able to reunite with their families after a long period apart from each other.
According to an article from CNN, the prisoner that had been there the longest was Namazi, who had been there since 2015, about eight years ago.
Although this deal was not made simple, the Iranian government got back some of its citizens, and 6 billion was made available again after being frozen by the US.
The five Iranian citizens who were chosen to be released by the US either decided to go home, elsewhere, or stay.
All five Iranian citizens were arrested in the U.S. for non-violent crimes and were thus set free as a part of the deal.
As for the 6 billion dollars that was released, it was originally sent from South Korean banks for oil it purchased many years ago, according to USA Today.
This move has limitations, as the funds are only for humanitarian efforts like food and medicine.
USA Today talks about how the Biden administration will ‘“take action to lock up the funds”’ if the funds are misused.
Where does this put the two countries? Do they now have a chance to rebuild relations? Or is this just a simple prisoner swap?
Weirdly enough, it’s a little of both.
The Biden administration has put sanctions on the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran and its former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In an article from CNN, the Secretary of the Treasury and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, had to this say:
“Today’s action targets Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for enabling the wrongful detention of our citizens, causing immeasurable pain and suffering for both the victims and their families.”
There are growing concerns over this whole ordeal being a reason for hostile countries to try and take Americans hostage, knowing that the American government is willing to get them back.
In an article from MSN, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken talked about the fragile nature of hostage situations.
He worries that this ordeal will encourage hostage-taking in the future, saying, “These are hard decisions, hard decisions for the president to make” according to MSN.
Furthermore, he points out the positive of the situation: “Over 30 Americans who were unjustly detained worldwide are now home as a result of those decisions.”
Another hard truth surrounding the matter is that not everyone will be happy about the trade occurring. Many American Republicans are angry about the transfer taking place.
According to USA Today, many Republican presidential candidates criticized the Biden Administration for making such a deal with Iran, comparing the exchange to making monetary exchanges with a terrorist element.
Ultimately, nothing will be able to satisfy everyone in an exchange like this. Something that can be appreciated is the reunification of a family.
When the five first returned to America, they were overwhelmed with joy and happiness after being unable to see their families for many years.
Morad Tahbaz, one of the five, gave a quote to CNN on the day he got back, saying that “time in captivity was difficult but also helped me learn a lot about myself and the world.”
Tahbaz had been a cancer survivor and was forced to survive another completely different struggle, making him ever so grateful for finally returning home.
Tahbaz reminisced, “I also learned that even in the darkest places and worst conditions, there are still good people in this world, and that gave me hope.”