Rezaian to rest, but wants to write about Iran again

Reporter Jason Rezaian was freed on Saturday in a prisoner swap between his two homelands

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Freed reporter Jason Rezaian said Wednesday he wants to write more about “the US and Iranian story” but first needs time with his family to recover from 18 months in a Tehran prison.

The Iranian-American Washington Post journalist was freed on Saturday in a prisoner swap between his two homelands, and has been flown to Landstuhl in Germany to receive treatment after his ordeal.

“I want everyone to know that I’m feeling fine, and I feel lucky to be here at a place where I can get such terrific care,” he said, thanking medical staff and the Swiss diplomats who helped oversee his release.

A beaming Rezaian appeared briefly with his immediate family in front of reporters outside the US military hospital in Landstuhl but spoke little and instead released a written statement.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life writing about the United States and Iran, and I never imagined -– and never wanted –- to become a part of the story, particularly at such an extraordinary moment,” he said.

Rezaian was arrested in July 2014 along with his Iranian wife, who was later freed and was allowed to leave Tehran with him, her mother and two more former US prisoners at the weekend.

The reporter and his employer have always firmly denied Iranian allegations that he was a US spy, but he was convicted in a secret court and only freed after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

“I want to get back to writing the US-Iran story at some point in the future. But I won’t be saying anything further for a while,” he said.

“I hope everyone will respect my need for privacy as I take some time for myself and for my family. For now, I want to catch up with what’s been going on in the world, watch a Warriors game or two, and see the Star Wars movie.”

Another of the released prisoners, 32-year-old former U.S. marine Amir Hekmati, also released a statement.

“I am learning more about the grassroots support I received from ordinary people from across the world over the past four-and-a-half years,” he said.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything you have done to keep my name a part of the conversation and for the kindness and support that you have given my family during the darkest period of our lives.”