Flint native Amir Hekmati reunited with family after release from Iran

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FRANKFURT, Germany — The sister of former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati arrived in Germany Monday to meet him following his release from Iran as part of a prisoner swap.

Hekmati's sister, Sarah Hekmati, was upbeat as she arrived at Frankfurt airport before heading toward the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where her brother was being treated along with Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and pastor Saeed Abedini.

The three Americans arrived in Germany late Sunday via Switzerland. A fourth stayed in Iran.

The prisoners were exchanged for pardons or charges dropped against seven Iranians.

Hekmati, a Flint native, was arrested in Iran in 2011 while visiting his grandparents. He was accused of being a spy, which his family has denied.

The U.S. will pardon or drop charges against the seven Iranians – six of whom are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens – accused or convicted of violating U.S. sanctions.

In addition, the U.S. will drop Interpol “red notices” – or arrest warrants – on 14 Iranian fugitives it has sought.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says the exchange shows “diplomacy can work even in this volatile region of the world.”

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio and other conservatives say Americans should never have been captured in the first place. In Iowa, Rubio blamed the White House’s willingness to do prisoner swaps in the past, saying governments take Americans hostage because they believe they can gain concessions from the Obama Administration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s