U.S., Iran prisoner swap detained academics

Iran and the United States have suddenly announced a prisoner swap for two men, who were released on Saturday (December 7).

The U.S. released Iranian stem cell expert Massoud Soleimani in exchange for the liberation of Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-American detained in Iran for three years on espionage charges.

On Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif uploaded a picture of him and Soleimani aboard a plane allegedly flying back to Iran.

Soleimani was arrested at Chicago airport in October 2018 for allegedly attempting to export biological materials to Iran -- violating U.S. sanctions on the country over its nuclear program.

Xiyue Wang, meanwhile, was is a Princeton University graduate student who is said to have been conducting dissertation research in Iran in 2016 when he was detained.

He was accused of "spying under the cover of research," an allegation both his family and the university deny.