Iran releases American Scientist in Exchange for the Return of Imprisoned Iranians. In the Swiss city of Zurich, the US and Iran exchanged two imprisoned scientists.
It concerns the American historian of Chinese descent Xiyue Wang and the Iranian biologist Massoud Soleimani. This exchange is remarkable at a time when the relations between Washington and Tehran are abysmal.
The American Xiyue Wang was arrested in Iran in 2016 during a study trip, and a year ago he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage. He and his university in Princeton have been denying those facts all the time.
Thanks to Swiss mediation, Washington and Tehran have now apparently reached an agreement. Besides, Wang would be exchanged with Massoud Soleimani, an Iranian biologist who was arrested in Chicago last year on charges of circumventing the American embargo against Iran.
Wang then flew to Zurich in Switzerland and was placed there by the American ambassador. He has since been transferred to an American medical centre on an army base in Germany. Soleimani is said to be en route to Iran.
The American president Donald Trump is pleased and thanks Switzerland for the mediation. He says he will continue to work for the release of other Americans imprisoned in Iran. The exchange comes at a striking moment, just as relations between the US and Iran have deteriorated considerably under the president.
China has no comment on the facts. Wang was born in China, but fled to the US and received US nationality in 2009. As a result, he automatically lost Chinese nationality, but his wife and children are still Chinese. They are also on their way to Wang in Germany.