The Prisoner Swap in Syria
As I wrote earlier this week, the release of the 48 Iranian prisoners--mostly officers of the Revolutionary Guards Corps--was an Iranian condition for moving forward in the secret talks with the United States. It was a test of our "good faith." It was very difficult for us, because the Free Syrian Army, which held the 48, has received no real help from the US, and they were reluctant to help. In the end, they got the release of more than 2,000 prisoners held by Assad.
It's pretty clear that our "friends" in Qatar and Turkey did the heavy lifting. This will likely unblock the secret talks, and I'd expect someone from the White House to meet with Mohammad Javad Larijani in the near future.
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