Three Europeans released by Iran arrive home

Three Europeans released by Iran arrive home
The trio's release were part of a prisoner swap in which Tehran got back an Iranian diplomat convicted and incarcerated in Belgium on terrorism charges.
2 min read
Foreign ministers hailed 'years of diplomatic effort' in bringing the prisoners home [Getty images]

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

The three Europeans had landed shortly before 2:45 am (0045 GMT) Saturday at Melsbroek military airport just outside Brussels.

They had flown 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.

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

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

Ghaderi and Mossaheb arrived at Vienna airport from Belgium at around 11:30 am (0930 GMT) on Saturday, where they were welcomed by their families and Schallenberg, his spokeswoman Claudia Tuertscher told AFP.

The Danish man, identified as Thomas Kjems, landed at Copenhagen airport at around 11:00 am 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.