The announcement of the release of five US citizens who were held in Iranian prisons in exchange for the release of a number of Iranians detained by the United States garnered wide attention from both Arab and international media. They highlighted the appreciation expressed by HE President of the United States of America Joe Biden to HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for his effective role in the release of the US citizens.
The German news agency (DPA) reported the appreciation of the US President for the relentless efforts made by partners of the United States both domestically and internationally to help achieve this result. President Biden said, "I give special thanks to the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, and to the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, both of whom helped facilitate this agreement over many months of difficult and principled American diplomacy."
The British news agency Reuters highlighted Biden's thanks to HH the Amir for his assistance in facilitating this agreement. It noted that the agreement reached after months of negotiations in Qatar has the potential to remove a major source of tension between Washington and Tehran. "A plane sent by Qatar flew the five US citizens and two of their relatives out of Tehran after both sides got confirmation the $6 billion was transferred from South Korea to Qatari accounts," the news agency pointed out.
For his part, Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said that the release of five American detainees by Tehran was "purely a humanitarian action" as they left Iran under a Qatar-mediated deal that involved the release of $6 billion Iranian funds in South Korea.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement reported by the Iranian News Agency (IRNA), expressed the gratitude of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the government of Qatar for playing an effective role in transferring the assets of Iran and exchanging the prisoners. It also appreciate the valuable efforts of the Sultanate of Oman to advance this process and also the Swiss governments cooperation and assistance in facilitating all this.
The South Korean news agency (Yonhap) confirmed that the Korean government expressed its special appreciation to Qatar and Switzerland for their constructive role in resolving the issue. It noted that Seoul had completed the procedures to transfer $ 6 billion from South Korea through Switzerland to bank accounts in Qatar before the prisoner exchange agreement between the United States and Iran was executed the previous day.
Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported that HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said through his account on (X) platform that the State of Qatar continues to contribute to everything that would enhance the security of the region, extending his thanks to both parties to the agreement and the partners, who contributed to the success of the agreement, especially the Sultanate of Oman.
Russian Sputnik news agency also reported the statements of HE Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al Khulaifi to Qatar News Agency (QNA) in which he said that as part of the implementation of the agreement, the Iranian frozen funds in the Republic of Korea were transferred to Doha accordingly, adding that the State of Qatar will commence the activation of the humanitarian financial channel.
HE Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered the implementation of this agreement an indicative of the status of the State of Qatar as a trusted international partner in mediation field and represents a new success to be further added to the remarkable successes of Qatari diplomacy. HE expressed the State of Qatar's hope that the full implementation of the agreement between Washington and Tehran will lead to greater understandings that include return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that the released money is going to be held by the Qatari banking sector and is available for withdrawal by request from the Iranian government. "The Iranians can request withdrawals for it for humanitarian purposes, and the countries and it will be, and us we will have oversight, sufficient oversight into the request itself, to validate the request and then to deliver funds appropriate to that request. The money will then go to qualified vendors to purchase and deliver the food, the medical supplies, into Iran," he said.
Kirby said, in an interview with the US CNN television, that "the Ministry of Treasury and the State of Qatar will carefully monitor these funds and how they are used, and we will give final approval for every expenditure of these funds.
The Director of the Iran Program at the Middle East Institute in Washington Alex Vatanka, said that the US Treasury Secretary stated in the context of the prisoner exchange deal with Iran, which included the release of $ 6 billion of frozen Iranian funds, that they would oversee the way this amount is spent and ensure that Iran uses it solely for humanitarian purposes.
Vatanka in an interview with Saudi's "Al-Sharq" TV, added that "Qatar wants to ensure the integrity of its position as a mediator, seeking to bridge the gap between Iran and the United States."
In a report, the BBC said that this deal comes after indirect talks mediated by Qatar, that began in February 2022, adding that Qatar is hoping this rare cooperation will help to catalyze progress on other long-standing disputes. This includes the 2015 nuclear deal, which many regard as dead due to the decision by then-US president, Donald Trump, to withdraw five years ago. (QNA)