The Trump administration has performed its first-ever prisoner exchange.
Except that instead of following former President Barack Hussein Obama’s lead and releasing five terrorists in exchange for a traitor and terrorist sympathizer, President Donald Trump has pursued a more sensible route.
“[T]he United States freed Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist who was arrested at a Chicago airport last year and was convicted on charges of violating American trade sanctions against Iran,” The New York Times has confirmed.
“American officials said that Mr. Soleimani’s release was a low price to pay for Mr. Wang’s freedom because Mr. Soleimani was expected to be released from prison as early as next month under a plea agreement.”
Unlike the five senior Afghan Taliban members who were freed by Obama five years ago in exchange for “dirty rotten traitor” Bowe Bergdahl, Soleimani, the freed Iranian, is clearly not a threat.
And unlike Bergdahl, who’s thanked America for its efforts to secure his release by trashing the country and its military, the American graduate student who’s been released by the Iranians isn’t a scumbag.
“The American, Xiyue Wang, … 38, was a fourth-year Princeton University graduate student conducting research in Iran when he was arrested there in August 2016,” the Times notes. “He was charged with espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison. United States officials deny that Mr. Wang, who had been locked in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, was a spy.”
Both the president and his Iranian counterparts have expressed gratitude to the Swedish government for their part in making this successful prisoner swap happen.
“We thank our Swiss partners for their assistance in negotiating Mr. Wang’s release with Iran,” the president said in a statement.
“The highest priority of the United States is the safety and well-being of its citizens. 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.”
Statement from President @RealDonaldTrump. Xiyue Wang, a husband and father, freed today in exchange for an Iranian scientist arrested last year and charged with violating trade sanctions against Iran. Exchange took place in Zurich, Switzerland with the assistance of Swiss govt pic.twitter.com/yhAQn0UkB1
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) December 7, 2019
“Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly. Many thanks to all engaged, particularly the Swiss government,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a man not known for any sort of kindness, added in his own statement.
Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly. Many thanks to all engaged, particularly the Swiss government. pic.twitter.com/1TeZUL0CDG
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) December 7, 2019
Over here in the states, meanwhile, thanks are being directed at the Trump administration and its two top honchos, the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 7, 2019
Welcome home Xiyue Wang, innocent US citizen held in Iran for 3 long years…so grateful to the Trump administration for prioritizing the return of our citizens https://t.co/95vK1vjOAJ
— JamesFoleyFoundation (@JamesFoleyFund) December 7, 2019
Thank you @realDonaldTrump @POTUS @SecPompeo for getting Xiyue Wang released from an Iranian prison. In spite of the #DoNothingDemocrats accomplishing ZILCH, Pres. Trump keeps working hard for America! Get to work @SpeakerPelosi!!! @DavidChalian @wolfblitzer @CNN @PressSec
— Win Sweepstakes, Contests and Giveaways (@TJB86) December 7, 2019
THANK YOU @realDonaldTrump you have succeeded what no other President has ever done…
After 3 years in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, American & Princeton student Xiyue Wang is coming home! Trump admin accomplished this in the middle of their maximum pressure campaign on #Iran. pic.twitter.com/0vWgZhMpVN
— Linda S (@Lindanap123) December 7, 2019
Best wishes and God bless to Xiyue, and his family. This is truly a Christmas miracle. Thank you Mr. President @realDonaldTrump
— shadowblu (@shadowblu55) December 7, 2019
@realDonaldTrump thank you for always looking out for Americans. I can’t imagine how happy Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang’s family will be to have him home for Christmas #KAG #MAGA https://t.co/ZjXCMqjmHQ
— Zachary (@nevadog) December 7, 2019
Pompeo has promised that efforts to secure the release of other imprisoned Americans remains ongoing and will not cease.
Another American is coming home. Xiyue Wang, who has been held on false charges in Iran for over three years, has been released and is on his way back to the United States. Mr. Wang will soon be reunited with his wife and son, who have missed him dearly. (1/2)
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 7, 2019
We will not rest until we bring every American detained in Iran and around the world back home to their loved ones. We thank the Swiss government for facilitating the return of Mr. Wang, and are pleased the Iranian government has been constructive in this matter. (2/2)
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 7, 2019
Of course, the Trump has already “done a lot to free Americans imprisoned abroad,”as noted last year by a columnist with The Washington Post, a paper whose columnists are not known for praising the president.
“[T]he president deserves some credit: He and his aides have tried harder than their predecessors to rescue innocent U.S. citizens jailed by foreign dictators,” the Post’s deputy edietorial page editor, Jackson Diehl, wrote.
“For example, the White House used Trump’s summit meeting with Kim Jong Un as leverage to extract the prisoners Pyongyang was holding. That remains the most meaningful concession the regime has made.”
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