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After 3 Years in Iran, 'Another American Is Coming Home'

Princeton grad student Xiyue Wang, 38, released as part of prisoner exchange
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2019 7:30 AM CST

(Newser) – "Another American is coming home." That was the early Saturday tweet from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with good news for the family of Xiyue Wang, the Chinese American graduate student who's been held prisoner in Iran for more than three years. CNN and NBC News report Wang, 38, was released in Switzerland as part of a prisoner swap. Two senior US officials tell the New York Times that Wang was flown Saturday on a Swiss government aircraft from Tehran to Zurich, where the State Department's special representative to Iran met him. As part of the deal, Iran will be welcoming home scientist Massoud Soleimani, who was arrested in Chicago in 2018 and accused of violating US sanctions. The Times notes that giving up Soleimani for Wang was a "low price to pay," as Soleimani was set to be released as early as next month anyway.

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Wang, a Princeton student who was doing research for his PhD, was arrested in August 2016 in Tehran on espionage charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His wife, Hua Qu, with whom he shares a young son, has long lobbied for his release. President Trump added his own statement on the news on Wang: "Freeing Americans held captive is of vital importance to my administration, and we will continue to work hard to bring home all our citizens wrongfully held captive overseas." Both Trump and Pompeo thanked the Swiss government for their assistance. Meanwhile, Qu was elated after hearing the news her husband was finally coming home. "Our family is complete once again," she said in a statement. (Read more Iran stories.)

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