Biden announces that five individuals from the United States who were held in Iran are currently en route to return home.

On Monday, President Biden celebrated the release of five American detainees by Tehran. This exchange involved the release of Iranian prisoners and the transfer of billions of dollars held in South Korea.

Simultaneously, he cautioned the citizens of America against visiting Iran and expressed his intention to request a comprehensive explanation regarding the whereabouts of Bob Levinson, an American who was last observed in Iran.

Mr. Biden announced that Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz, Emad Sharghi, and two undisclosed individuals will soon be reunited with their families, following years of distress, doubt, and hardship.

The president expressed gratitude towards the foreign allies who assisted in the exchange. This includes Qatar, where the prisoners briefly stayed on their journey to the U.S., and South Korea, who released $6 billion of Iranian funds without concern for potential U.S. sanctions.

Some of the former prisoners had been held for years on charges, including espionage, that U.S. officials described as bogus.

Mr. Biden received strong criticism from the GOP regarding the agreement, with Republicans comparing it to a ransom payment to Tehran and suggesting that it encourages Iran to further engage in hostage-taking.

The White House explained that it had to make difficult decisions in order to repatriate American citizens. It cautioned individuals to avoid finding themselves under the control of the Islamic Republic in the future.

Mr. Biden stated that as we receive our fellow citizens back home, he wants to emphasize the significant dangers associated with traveling to Iran. He advises all Americans holding American passports to refrain from visiting the country.

The president also stated that he would request information regarding the situation of Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing in Kish Island, Iran, in unclear circumstances and is believed to have passed away following an extended period of being held captive.

“I am announcing today that we are imposing sanctions on former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence based on their participation in unlawful detentions, in accordance with the Levinson Act. Furthermore, we will persist in imposing consequences on Iran for their provocative behavior in the region,” stated Mr. Biden.

After previously negotiating agreements with Russia for the release of detainees, such as WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner, he continued to support the prisoner deal.

Mr. Biden stated that his government has successfully repatriated individuals from various countries including Afghanistan, Burma, Haiti, Russia, Rwanda, Venezuela, West Africa, and more.

“However, there are still numerous individuals who are being unlawfully detained in countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Syria, and other parts of the world,” he stated. “We are determined to continue supporting them and their families without hesitation, and we will persist until we successfully repatriate every American who is being held captive or detained without justification.”