Iran deal brings closure to family of jailed journalist

FILE - In this photo April 11, 2013 file photo, Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. A source close to Iran's judiciary confirmed to The Associated Press, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 that jailed Washington Post bureau chief Jason Rezaian is one of four dual-national prisoners freed by Iran's government and previously announced on Iranian state television without naming those released. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – The family of an Iranian American reporter who spent more than a year behind bars is thanking U.S. lawmakers and the journalism community for assisting in the chain of events which lead to his release.

Jason Rezaian was released over the weekend from an Iranian jail where he had been held for suspicion of espionage since the summer of 2014. Rezaian was serving as the Washington Post Tehran bureau chief before his arrest. The journalist’s release occurred just hours after a controversial nuclear deal between the United States and Iran went into effect.

During an address on Sunday, President Obama signaled the journalist’s release was a sign relations between the two countries would only improve from now on.

“I gave these families my word. I made a vow that we would do everything in our power to win the release of their loved ones. And we have been tireless.” said Obama during his speech. The publisher of the Washington Post released a statement over the weekend thanking lawmakers for the efforts which lead to Rezaian’s release.

“Friends and colleagues at The Washington Post are elated by the wonderful news that Jason Rezaian has been released from Evin Prison and has safely left the country with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi. We are relieved that this 545-day nightmare for Jason and his family is finally over. We are pleased to see that Iran released four other Americans, and our hope is that those who remain held will soon follow.” said Frederick J. Ryan in a statement released on Sunday.

The Washington Post has not said when Rezaian would return back to the United States. Family and friends have been arriving in Germany where Rezaian was recovering following his release.

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