WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Five Americans landed safely in the United States early Tuesday, part of a prisoner swap with Iran that also unfroze nearly $6 billion in Iranian assets.
“I have no higher priority, the president has no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are unjustly detained anywhere can come home,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
But while the Biden Administration celebrated, Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell slammed the deal.
“Unfortunately, the deal that secured their released may very well be the latest example of president Biden rewarding and incentivizing Tehran’s bad behavior,” McConnell said.
In fact, McConnell was critical of the administration’s overall Iran strategy, which he said “emboldened the massive state sponsor of terror and would be nuclear arms aggressor.”
Blinken, though, said the administration is committed to getting Iran to return to the nuclear agreement — which former President Trump ended.
“We continue to be determined to take whatever step is necessary to deal with actions by Iran in a whole host of areas,” Blinken said.
The Biden Administratin said the US will have oversight over the released funds.
“The funds were moved to another bank where we have absolute overight of how they’re used, and they can only be used for humanitarian purposes,” Blinken noted.
Despite the prisoner exchange, tensions are likely to remain high between the US and Iran as Iran has continued to stockpile uranium.