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Delegation backs Iran prisoner swap

Delaware Public Media

Sen. Tom Carper (D) says the release of five American prisoners over the weekend from Iran was a good deal for the U.S. as it also began lifting economic sanctions against the country.

“We get five of our people, they get seven of theirs. One of our five has elected to stay in Iran – I think they have dual-citizenship. So, I think it’s a pragmatic, realistic, reasonable thing to do," Carper said.

Carper says it makes sense, since those prisoners were convicted of violating those long-standing economic sanctions that became moot Saturday after the Middle Eastern country complied with terms of a nuclear disarmament agreement. Those sanctions were lifted Saturday.

Carper says he’s known Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif since his time as the country’s United Nations ambassador and has urged him to release some of these same men.

He also notes that he continues to ask about missing former FBI agent Bob Levinson, whose family had hoped would be among those released.


“Every time I’ve talked with Iranian leaders I’ve brought his name up. I’ve given them letter after letter after letter from myself and other colleagues to say, ‘Let our people go,’ and they’ve said to us let their people go.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D) and Congressman John Carney (D) also released statements saying they applauded this weekend's prisoner swap.

Coons also commended President Obama for sanctioning 11 Iranian entities behind recent ballistic missile tests.

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