Iran Frees Journalist Jason Rezaian, 4 Others

The U.S. also released seven others in the prisoner swap

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Jan 16, 2016 at 10:45 AM ET

White House senior officials have confirmed that Iran has freed five American prisoners, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, as part of a swap.

Iran state media initially reported the releases.

In addition to Rezaian, the Islamic Republic freed Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi. However, none of have left Tehran as of yet, officials said.

Later, a fifth man named Matthew Trevithick, said to be a detained student, was also released separately. He is on his way home to America at present, White House officials confirmed.

The U.S. freed seven Iranians—including six Iranian-Americans—in exchange.

Rezaian was in Iranian custody since July 2014. His release came ahead of a landmark nuclear deal that also took effect on Saturday. White House officials also maintained that the two issues were not linked, and that the prisoners were not used as “bargaining chips,” though the nuclear negotiations were instrumental in gaining greater access to Iranian officials.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates…