Listen Live
Iran national flag of background.

Source: Aoraee / Getty

The Biden administration has agreed to a deal with Iran to swap prisoners and release $ billion in frozen Iranian funds.

Per the deal, Iran will release five American citizens detained in Iran and the U.S. will release five Iranian citizens being held in the U.S.

The deal creates a blanket waiver to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of violating U.S. sanctions. The United States classifies Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“The US has agreed to allow the transfer of funds from South Korea to restricted accounts held in financial institutions in Qatar and the release of five Iranian nationals currently detained in the United States to facilitate the release of five US citizens detained in Iran,” a quoted State Department official said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on the sanctions waivers late last week, a month after U.S. and Iranian officials said an agreement in principle was in place. Congress was not informed of the waiver decision until Monday, according to the notification, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi says the Iranian government will spend the $6 billion it gained “wherever we need it.”

“This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money,” Raisi said Tuesday. “Humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people needs, so this money will be budgeted for those needs and the needs of the Iranian people will be decided and determined by the Iranian government.”