Posted on

Iran releases Xiyue Wang, Princeton student held prisoner since 2016

WASHINGTON – An American graduate student who has been held prisoner in Iran for more than three years was released on Saturday, the White House said.

An Iranian court had sentenced Xiyue Wang to 10 years in prison on espionage charges, Iranian news agencies reported in 2017. He was arrested a year earlier. 

“The highest priority of the United States is the safety and well-being of its citizens,” President Donald Trump said in a statement early Saturday.

“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.”

Wang, 38, was freed as part of a prisoner swap after the United States released Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist arrested last year on trade violations. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, posted a photograph of himself on Twitter with Soleimani under the words “going home.”