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Iran releases three European prisoners

Iranian-Austrians Kamran Ghaderi and Massud Mossaheb arrive back in Europe after being released. June 2, 2023
Iranian-Austrians Kamran Ghaderi and Massud Mossaheb arrive back in Europe after being released. June 2, 2023 Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Two Austrian-Iranian citizens and a Danish man were released from prison in Iran.

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Iran has released a Dane and two Austrian citizens, their governments confirmed on Friday, thanking Oman and Belgium for their help in getting the trio freed.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said he was "very relieved" that Kamran Ghaderi and Massud Mossaheb were being brought home after "years of arduous imprisonment in Iran."

Denmark's Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that he was "happy and relieved that a Danish citizen is on his way home to his family in Denmark after imprisonment in Iran." He didn't name the person, saying their identity was "a personal matter" and he couldn't go into details.

Schallenberg thanked the foreign ministers of Belgium and Oman for providing "valuable support," without elaborating on what form it took. Løkke Rasmussen also thanked Belgium and said that Oman "played an important role."

Last week, a prisoner exchange between Belgium and Iran returned to Tehran an Iranian diplomat convicted of attempting to bomb exiles in France, Assadollah Assadi. Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, looking visibly gaunt, headed back to Brussels as part of the swap.

There was no immediate word on what, if anything, Iran obtained in return for the latest releases.

Sultan of Oman

The releases come after Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq visited Iran on his first trip there since becoming the Arab nation's ruler in 2020.

Ghaderi is an Iranian-Austrian businessman who was arrested in 2016 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly spying for the US, charges strongly rejected by his supporters. His family had criticised Austria for being silent on his case in recent years.

Mossaheb, also an Iranian-Austrian businessman, was arrested in 2019 and received a 10-year prison sentence after what Amnesty International called "a grossly unfair trial for vague national security offences." Amnesty had said Mossaheb suffered from heart failure and diabetes, making his imprisonment that much more dangerous for him.

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