Three Europeans held by Iran arrive back home after being released

BRUSSELS — One Dane and two Austrian-Iranian citizens released from detention by Tehran have arrived in their home countries, after the latest in a series of prisoner swaps.

The three Europeans landed early this morning at Melsbroek military airport just outside Brussels.

They flew there from Muscat, the capital of Oman which helped broker their release.

Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib welcomed them at the airport along with Danish and Austrian diplomats.

The trio’s release, as well as that of a Belgian aid worker a week earlier, were part of a prisoner swap in which Tehran got back an Iranian diplomat convicted and incarcerated in Belgium on terrorism charges.

Vienna reacts with relief at the release of its two citizens, named as Kamran Ghaderi and Massud Mossaheb, who it says had been arrested “unjustly” by Iran in January 2016 and January 2019, respectively.

Thanking Belgium, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg says: “Our years of diplomatic efforts to secure their release have borne fruit… Today is a very emotional day for all of us.”

The Danish man, identified as Thomas Kjems, landed at Copenhagen airport at around 11:00 a.m. local time, telling reporters that he had been treated well in Iran, without being subjected to torture.

Kjems had been arrested in Iran in November 2022 on the sidelines of a demonstration for women’s rights, according to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

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