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American Prisoners Are Released From Venezuela and Iran


Two other Americans — Mr. Heath, who was detained in 2020, and Mr. Khan, who was detained in the beginning of this yr — were also amongst those released by Venezuela on Saturday.

Asked whether the discharge of the Venezuelan drug smugglers would prompt Mr. Maduro to detain more Americans, the senior administration official said he hoped that the Venezuelan president and others would realize that the president’s decision was a “rare” motion that is just not prone to be repeated often.

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, lashed out on the administration on Twitter.

“Today Biden released two convicted drug dealer nephews of #Venezuela dictator Maduro in exchange for 7 innocent Americans being held hostage,” said Mr. Rubio, whose state is home to many Venezuelans who fled the socialist governments there.

“One other Biden appeasement that can lead to more anti-U.S. dictators taking more innocent Americans hostage in the longer term,” Mr. Rubio wrote.

In Iran, it was unclear what had prompted the discharge of the Namazis.

“We’ve been working on a furlough for years, he can be eligible for furlough after he served greater than half his term. This has been long coming,” said Jared Genser, the professional bono lawyer for the Namazi family. “We will not be there yet, we will not be going to rest until all of the Namazis are capable of return to the U.S. and their long nightmare finally involves an end.”

Mr. Genser said the younger Mr. Namazi’s furlough, while renewable, lasts for just seven days. “He still must give you the option to go away Iran and return to america,” Mr. Genser said. “We hope and pray that can occur soon, but there was no agreement between the U.S. and Iran to release all of the American hostages.”

António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said in a press release on Saturday that he was grateful that the elder Mr. Namazi, a former senior official for UNICEF, had been permitted to go away Iran for medical treatment abroad following Mr. Guterres’s appeal to President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran.

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