Iran Releases Princeton Student Xiyue Wang After Three-Year Detainment

Xiyue Wang, a Princeton doctoral student, in 2015. He traveled to Iran a year later to study Farsi and conduct archival research for his dissertation. Credit...Hua Qu, via Associated Press
Hua Qu, via Associated Press

President Donald Trump celebrated the news Saturday that Iran had released Princeton University student Xiyue Wang after three years of being detained in Iran.

“We thank our Swiss partners for their assistance in negotiating Mr. Wang’s release with Iran,” Trump wrote in a statement.

Wang was held captive on the presence of espionage, serving a ten-year prison sentence after Iranian officials arrested him in August 2016 — an accusation that American officials denied.

In exchange, the United States freed Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani, arrested in Chicago for violating trade sanctions, as he was already set to be released early under a plea agreement, according to Trump officials speaking to the New York Times.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that Wang was on the way home to see his family.

“The United States will not rest until we bring every American detained in Iran and around the world back home to their loved ones,” he said in a statement.

Wang’s wife also celebrated the news in a statement:

Trump said he would continue to seek freedom for every American held overseas.

“The highest priority of the United States is the safety and well-being of its citizens,” Trump said. “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.”

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also celebrated the news on Twitter.

“Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly,” he wrote. “Many thanks to all engaged, particularly the Swiss government”:

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