No link between Iran freeing Americans, sanctions

2016-01-18 22:27
US Secretary of State John Kerry. (AFP)

US Secretary of State John Kerry. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday there was no direct link between the release of Americans detained in Iran and the lifting of punishing sanctions against Tehran.

In two days of fast-moving diplomacy at the weekend, five Americans were freed by Iran on Saturday and on Sunday the US and Iranian presidents hailed the implementation of Tehran's nuclear deal, which saw Washington and the European Union lift sanctions.

Kerry told CNN that the timing was coincidental and that the Americans would have been released even if the sanctions had remained in place.

"It happened to come together at that moment, I think that everybody saw that that would be propitious, but it was not directly linked," he said.

"I had hoped it [their release] would have happened a couple months ago actually and then it hit a snag and we continued to negotiate."

Four of the American prisoners, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, were freed in exchange for Washington pardoning seven Iranians accused of sanctions-busting.

A fifth American was also released in a separate process.

Kerry also confirmed a report by The Washington Post that the flight out of Iran of Rezaian and two of the other Americans was delayed because of a mix-up over the fate of Rezaian's wife Yeganeh.

"It did hit a snag because word somehow had not been communicated with the respect to the manifest on the plane that Jason Rezaian's wife would be coming with him," Kerry said.

However, the Iranian government quickly understood that "the terms of the agreement included her", said Kerry.

"We went through a period of time while they were located and ultimately reunited with Jason, and now all is well that ends well."

Read more on:    john kerry  |  iran  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.