Rare! US Iraqi prisoner exchange: release of Chinese American scholars and Iranian professors

 Rare! US Iraqi prisoner exchange: release of Chinese American scholars and Iranian professors

Two long hostile countries, the United States and Iran, yesterday (7 December) launched a rare joint prison swap in Switzerland, a neutral country: Iran released Xiyue Wang, an American Chinese scholar who had been detained for three years on espionage charges; in exchange, the United States released Massoud soleimani, an Iranian professor who had been jailed for more than a year.

After the successful prisoner exchange, US President trump tweeted thanks to Iran, saying that a very fair negotiation has been conducted. Irans foreign minister tweeted that he was grateful to all participating countries, especially the Swiss government. The Wall Street Journal said that at a time of growing hostility between the United States and Iran, the exchange of prisoners marks a rare diplomatic opening between the two countries.

U.S. State Department tweets photos of Hu Ke and Wang Xiyue, representatives of the U.S. Iran issue

Iranian Foreign Minister tweeted his photo with solani

Wang Xiyue, a Chinese American scholar, is a doctoral student in the Department of history at Princeton University. During his academic research in Iran in 2016, he was accused by the Iranian authorities of engaging in espionage in the name of research, and then was convicted of espionage by the court in 2017, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Iranian professor solemane is a stem cell expert who was arrested at Chicago airport in October 2018. The U.S. government accused him of trying to bring biological materials to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

This time, the United States and Iran, with the help of Switzerland, a neutral country, have promoted prisoner exchange cooperation. A senior U.S. official said the swap talks, led by the Swiss government, had been intense for three to four weeks.

Reuters reported that the official revealed that solamani was accompanied by US representative for Iran Brian hook and flew to Switzerland. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Zarif met with solemane in Zurich.

Another U.S. official said Wang Xiyue will go to Germany after being released and return to the United States after receiving medical assessment there.

In a statement earlier Monday, trump thanked the Swiss government for helping facilitate the negotiations, saying the release of detained Americans is crucial for my government, and we will continue our efforts to bring back all US citizens illegally detained abroad..

A senior U.S. official said Washington hoped Wangs release would allow other Americans in Iran to be released, indicating Irans willingness to discuss issues with the United States.

Trump also tweeted thanks to Iran on the same day, for a very fair negotiation. Look, we can reach an agreement together! In order to show that he is more powerful than his predecessor, trump constantly stressed on Twitter and in his speech to reporters that Wang Xiyue was arrested during the Obama administration and returned during the trump administration.

Irans foreign minister Zarif tweeted the same day about his photo with solani on an Iranian plane. He also tweeted, Im glad that Professor solamani and Mr. Wang Xiyue will be reunited with their families in the near future. Thanks to all participating countries, especially the government of Switzerland .

Zarif tweets

Relations between the two countries have been tense since trump announced last year that he would withdraw from the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran and re impose sanctions on Iran.

The Wall Street Journal reported that it was still uncertain whether the two prisoners could pave the way for diplomatic contacts between the two countries, which appeared to be in a dilemma. Iran has repeatedly stressed that it will only be willing to meet with the United States if the United States lifts sanctions. Iranian President Mahmoud Rouhani reiterated that position again this week. The United States has said that sanctions against Iran will only be lifted if Iran changes its behavior and agrees to negotiate on a broader issue than its nuclear program.

Source: responsible editor of observer network: Wang Xuyu b12062