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Freed Americans arrive to tears, hugs in Virginia after Iran swap deal
Americans detained for years in Iran have arrived home after being freed as part of a politically risky deal that saw US President Joe Biden agree to the release of nearly $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets.
The prisoners land at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with clapping and cheers heard in the predawn hours.
Here are the seven Americans on their way home from Iran alongside a world class group of American diplomats. Welcome home. pic.twitter.com/fjkAhNkGPw
— Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) September 19, 2023
Siamak Namazi, the first off the jet, pauses for a moment, closes his eyes and takes a deep breath before leaving the plane.
Loved ones, some holding small American flags, tearfully envelop them in hugs and exchange greetings in English and Farsi, the main language of Iran.
“The nightmare is finally over,” Namazi’s brother, Babak, says at the airport.
Family members embrace freed Americans Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz and Emad Shargi, as well as two returnees whose names have not yet been released by the U.S. government, who were released in a prisoner swap deal between US and Iran, as they arrive at Davison Army Airfield, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2923 at Fort Belvoir, Va. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)
“We haven’t had this moment in over eight years,” he adds, his arm around his brother and his formerly detained father, Baquer, who had been earlier released by Iran. “It’s unbelievable.”
The former prisoners later posed for a group photograph with their families, calling out: “Freedom!”
US officials arrange a group photo after freed Americans Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz and Emad Shargi, as well as two returnees not yet named by the US government, who were released in a prisoner swap deal between US and Iran, arrived at Davison Army Airfield, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023 at Fort Belvoir, Va. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)
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