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Iran demanded Florida doctor in exchange for Michael White

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson says the Iranians conditioned White's freedom on Majid Taheri's release.
Michael White, a freed U.S. Navy veteran detained in Iran since 2018, poses with U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook while on his return to the United States at Zurich Airport in Zurich, Switzerland June 4, 2020.  U.S. State Department/Handout via REUTERS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS IMAGE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY, AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. - RC2K2H90N3HH

In what the Donald Trump administration has avoided framing as a prisoner swap but came the same day an Iranian-American doctor was released in the United States, Navy veteran Michael White was freed from Iranian custody Thursday. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who played a key role in the negotiations, says the timing was no coincidence. 

“It may not necessarily be a prisoner swap per se, but it’s a joint humanitarian effort on both sides that is not concurrent,” Richardson told Al-Monitor. “It shows hopefully the possibility of more joint releases like this.” 

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