Three US prisoners freed by Iran due in Switzerland: ministry - Times LIVE
   
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Three US prisoners freed by Iran due in Switzerland: ministry

AFP | 2016-01-17 19:17:49.0
Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post's Tehran correspondent, is pictured at The Washington Post in Washington, DC in this November 6, 2013 handout photo. Rezaian was one of four American prisoners released by Iran ahead of the expected lifting of international sanctions on Iran January 16, 2016 as part of a deal between major powers and Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear program. REUTERS/Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post/Handout via ReutersATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. IT IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Image by: WASHINGTON POST / REUTERS

Three US citizens freed by Iran in a prisoner swap after more than a year of secret negotiations on Swiss soil are due to arrive in Switzerland later Sunday, the foreign ministry confirmed.

"A Swiss plane with a (foreign ministry) representative and several doctors on board is bringing back three of the American prisoners detained in Iran, along with the mother and wife of one of them," the ministry said in a statement.

After landing in Switzerland, the five will then leave for an American base in Germany, the ministry said, without disclosing where the plane would arrive.

It said the prisoner swap -- involving four Americans and seven Iranians -- followed 14 months of confidential discussions in Switzerland.

The four Americans are Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian; Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, former US Marine Amir Hekmati and a fourth man named Nosratollah Khosravi.

Khosravi, an Iranian-American about whom little is known, did not leave Iran.

A fifth American, identified as language student Matt Trevithick, had already left the country as part of a separate release, a US official said.

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