American student jailed in Iran for 3 years freed in prisoner exchang


Xiyue Wang had been held in Iran’s notorious Evin detention center since August 2016.

December 7, 2019, 4: 29 PM

6 min be taught

An American graduate pupilwho used to be jailedfor added than three years in Iran is headed residence after a prisoner swap.

Xiyue Wang, 38, a Princeton University pupil, used to be exchanged for Iranian scientist Professor Massoud Soleimani early on Saturday as section of a prisoner trade brokered by the Switzerland authorities. Wang had been held in Iran’s notorious Evin detention center since August 2016 on charges of espionage.

President Trump said Wang had been held beneath the “pretense” of espionage.”

“The very ideal precedence of the USA is the safety and properly-being of its residents,” the president said in an announcement. “Freeing American citizens held captive is of mighty importance to my Administration, and we are able to proceed to work laborious to raise residence all our residents wrongfully held captive in another country.”

A senior administration unswerving said Switzerland had been negotiating for Wang’s originate for added than three weeks. Wang, who is at repeat in Germany, is in appropriate spirits, the unswerving said.

Wang, who is married with a son, used to be a Eurasian historical past student. He traveled to Iran in 2016 to gape Persian and conduct assessment for his dissertation.

Sooner than touring, Wang wrote to the Iranian Hobby Portion on the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C., which issued his visa. He also wrote to the libraries in Iran he planned to search the advice of with, in accordance with Princeton University.

He used to be transparent about what he desired to gape and why, in accordance with the college, and about his desire to procure admission to documents housed at Iranian libraries and archives.

“He used to be no longer enraged about any political activities or social activism; he used to be simply a student making an strive to invent procure admission to to materials he wanted for his dissertation,” the college said in an announcement about his case.

Wang’s companion, Hua Qu, tweeted that their family used to be “total as soon as extra.”

“Our son Shaofan and I even agree with waited three long years for in this level in time and it’s laborious to particular in phrases how enraged we are to be reunited with Xiyue,” the tweet be taught. “We are grateful to every person who helped make this occur.”

In trade for Wang’s originate, Professor Massoud Soleimani, who used to be arrested at a Chicago airport final three hundred and sixty five days and charged with violating exchange sanctions in opposition to Iran, used to be headed residence, too.

A stem cell researcher who had been working in Minnesota, Soleimani used to be charged after he used to be reportedly searching for to transfer biological field fabric aid to Iran with out a license.

His lawyers argued that he used to be innocent, asserting the sanctions law used to be ambiguous.

Javad Zarif, Iran’s international minister, used to be there to greet him on the airport; he flew with Wang from Tehran to Switzerland.

In a tweet, Zarif said: “Satisfied that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be becoming a member of their families quickly. Many as a result of all engaged, critically the Swiss Executive.”

ABC News’ Elizabeth Thomas contributed to this file.

ABC News

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