Washington to pay $7b in exchange for four spies

May 2, 2021 - 22:11

TEHRAN-- The Lebanese news network, Al Mayadeen reported that the Islamic Republic has agreed to release four Americans accused of spying for the CIA. In exchange, Washington will release four detained Iranians, in addition to unfreezing $7 billion of Iranian assets in the U.S.

According to Al Mayadeen News Network, the Biden administration wanted to avoid paying any sums of frozen Iranian money during the negotiations. Yet, the Iranian side insisted on the necessity of releasing part of the Iranian funds.

The report says that the four Iranians detained in the United States were helping to circumvent the sanctions.

Analysts say that the Biden administration needed to show the U.S. Congress that he is making progress in the nuclear deal. Hence, they were convinced to unfreeze $7b in cash to bring back four American spies. 

Based on the reports received from Vienna, the United States, with the brokering of the European Union, had tried to put pressure on Iran to release the spies mentioned above without giving any points to Iran to avoid another Jason Rezaeian fiasco. 

In the Jason Rezaeian case, Iran managed to force its will on the Obama administration when the United States paid $1.7 billion in exchange for Jason Rezaeian and three other spies. Rezaeian was charged with espionage and “collaborating with hostile governments.”

Al Mayadeen also reported that similar security negotiations between the Iranian and British sides, with the British side agreeing to unfreeze 400 million pounds of frozen Iranian funds in exchange. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) quoted an informed source saying that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be released in return for London unfreezing 400 million pounds. 

It is also said that the deal is arranged based on an "America first" principle, that is, the United States should pay Iran first, in cash, and then prepare to greet its spies with a red carpet. 

It seems that the exchange of prisoners has given the Iranian delegate an upper hand in the Vienna negotiations, demanding more from the P4+1 and the U.S. 

Speculations circling around the names of the four spies to be Siamak Namazi, Bagher Namazi, Emad Edward Sharghi, and Morad Tahbaz are the four spies Iran is going to return in exchange for $7b.

However, the Islamic Republic should be wary, as the United States has time and again proven that it is no reliable side to negotiate with. 

SA/AJ

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