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Iran Releases American Prisoner of 3 YEars in Bilateral Prison Swap

By: Politicized News

· Global Affairs

This morning, the U.S. and Iran carried out a bilateral prison swap which oversaw the release of Xiyue Wang, a Princeton doctoral student and American citizen, who was arrested in August of 2016 in Tehran.

Mr. Wang was a fourth-year student when he traveled to Iran to learn Farsi and conduct research for his degree in Eurasian history. He left the U.S. in 2016 on the Princeton-funded excursion to pursue his doctoral dissertation. His wife and child remained in the U.S.
Mr. Wang was arrested in 2016 and charged in July of 2017 by the Iranian government on charges of espionage, with representatives of the Iranian judiciary claiming Wang was “sent by Princeton” to spy, and referring to Wang as “[an] American infiltrator,” according to the New York Times. The UN Human Rights Council found these charges to have “no legal basis” and called for his immediate release.
Wang returned home to the U.S. this morning in exchange for the American government’s release of Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist arrested in 2018 on charges of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Mr. Soleimani had been working as a stem cell researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota when he was charged for attempting a transfer of growth hormones to Iran without a license, an action which violated U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.
The prison swap marks a continuation of President Trump’s policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran, one which characterized the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the ongoing implementation of harsh economic sanctions.
Trump administration officials have named the release of other Americans in Iranian custody a top priority.

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