Five US citizens have been freed by Iran as part of a highly controversial prisoner swap deal between Washington and Tehran.

They are on their way out of the country to Doha, Qatar, a senior Biden administration official said Monday. Later on Monday, they will be flown back to the US.

Three of the five American citizens who have been freed have been publicly identified. Their names are Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz. Two others asked that their identity not be made public. According to a U.S. official, arrangements were also made for Tahbaz’s wife, Vida, and Namazi’s mother, Effie, to leave Iran. Unlike the other five prisoners, the Iranian government had not jailed them but they had been previously barred from leaving the country.

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A deal was struck between Washington and Tehran last month, where the U.S. promised to grant clemency to five Iranians and also allow Iran access to roughly $6 billion in frozen oil revenue on the condition that the money would be put toward humanitarian causes.

Who are Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz?

The five Iranians who were freed from Iran were either charged with or convicted of nonviolent offenses. They all served time in Iran’s notorious Evin prison but were placed on house arrest when the two countries reached a deal.

Namazi, 51, is an oil executive and holds dual citizenship – an Iranian and another American. He was detained in 2015 after being accused of “collaboration with a hostile government” for his ties to the United States He was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison after a conviction.

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Shargi is a 58-year-old businessman. He was detained without explanation in 2018 and released in 2019. He was again re-arrested in 2020 and handed down a 10-year sentence on an espionage charge.

Tahbaz, 67, is an Iranian-American conservationist. He also holds a British citizenship. He was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.