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Plane With US Detainees Released Under US-Iran Prisoner Swap Departs From Tehran

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the mediabankA plane in the sky.
A plane in the sky. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.09.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Qatari plane with US detainees released as part of the US-Iran prisoner swap has departed from Iran, media reported on Monday, citing a source.
An Iranian broadcaster, in turn, reported that two of the five Iranian detainees freed under the deal had landed in Doha.
Five US prisoners who were freed as part of a prisoner exchange with Iran are on their way to Qatar, White House Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said in an interview with US media.
"This is a significant development today. They are in the air, they are on their way to Qatar. We expect them to land in about an hour or so, and then they'll be making their way back to the United States after that," Kirby said.
Meanwhile, Qatar has informed the United States and Iran that $6 billion in unfrozen Iranian funds have been transferred to bank accounts in Doha in connection to a prisoner swap deal between the two countries, a British news agency reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
"Both parties have been notified by Qatar that all $6 billion has been transferred from Switzerland to bank accounts in Qatar," the source told the news agency.
Iran plans to purchase medical supplies from Qatar using the unfrozen funds, a diplomatic source in Qatar told Sputnik.
"The funds returned after the agreement with the United States will mainly be used to purchase medicines and medical equipment needed by Iran, which will be purchased in Qatar," the source said.
UK national Morad Tahbaz temporarily released from jail in Iran - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2023
US to Free Five Iranians and Release $6Bn Frozen Funds in Prisoner Swap Deal
Last week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that Tehran would spend $6 billion in funds to be released following the prisoner exchange agreement with the United States wherever the country considers necessary. Earlier that week, a US State Department spokesperson confirmed to Sputnik that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had signed a waiver advancing the prisoner exchange deal with Iran that lifted a hold on $6 billion of Iranian funds, which would be moved from bank accounts in South Korea to Qatar. The US authorities also said that Tehran would be able to spend the fund on humanitarian needs only, while the US would control the spending process.
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