Iran Announces Release Of 5 Americans After Sanctions Lifted

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IRAN (CNN) –A family member of an American freed in Iran told CNN the U.S. State Department said that a plane carrying the Americans has taken off in Iran.

 Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, released from Iranian detention under a prisoner swap agreement between Tehran and Washington, has left the country along with his wife, the newspaper’s publisher says. “We look forward to the joyous occasion of welcoming him back to the Washington Post newsroom,” publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said in a statement.

Iran announced the release of five detained Americans after international inspectors said Tehran is in compliance with a deal to restrict its nuclear program.

U.S. administration officials confirmed the news Saturday following reports first published in Iranian media.

They include four who are part of a prisoner swap deal: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini. A fourth detainee identified by U.S. officials as Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari was also part of the deal.

A fifth man — recently detained student Matthew Trevithick — was released separately, U.S. officials said.

The announcement came the same day the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog announced Iran is in compliance with a July nuclear deal.

As a result, some international economic sanctions against Iran were lifted.

They were released in exchange for clemency for seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States for sanctions violations, the officials confirmed.

Six of the seven are dual citizens.

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