As five US hostages left Iran in a prisoner exchange deal, Iran said that only two of its citizens released by the United States will return to the county.
Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson has Nasser Kanaani disclosed that two Iranians released in the United States will return to Iran, one individual will travel to another country, and two others will continue to reside in the United States.
One of the released prisoners who has decided to stay in the United States is Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi who was arrested in January 2021. He was charged with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara).
The US Department of Justice said at the time that Afrasiabi has been secretly employed by the Iranian government and paid by Iranian diplomats assigned to the UN.
During a press conference, Kanaani remarked, "We have observed the freezing of a portion of Iran's assets in various countries, including South Korea. As part of our proactive foreign diplomacy, we are pleased to report that Iran's frozen assets in South Korea have been released. Today, these assets will begin to be fully under the control of the government and the nation."
He went on to say, "Regarding the prisoner exchange, it is scheduled to take place today, with five Iranian citizens set to be released from US prisons. Similarly, five imprisoned citizens who were in Iran will be handed over to the US side in a reciprocal manner, based on their own will. We anticipate that both of the agreements will be fully executed."