WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As part of a prisoner exchange with Iran, the White House said on Saturday it had offered clemency to seven Iranians who were convicted or facing trial in the United States.
In addition, the Obama administration said it had removed Interpol detention requests and charges against 14 Iranians overseas.
Through interviews with attorneys and a review of court records, Reuters has identified seven cases in which the United States offered clemency for Iranians serving sentences or awaiting trial in the United States.
The U.S. Justice Department on Sunday evening confirmed the identities of the seven individuals receiving pardons or commutations.
Reuters has also found four cases in which the U.S. Justice Department moved to drop charges against overseas Iranians. Prosecutors moved to have those cases dismissed early on Saturday, before the release of the Americans jailed in Iran was announced.
Here are details on the 11 Iranians identified by Reuters as part of the prisoner deal.
Iranians granted clemency in the United States:
* President Barack Obama pardoned Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afghahi and Tooraj Faridi, a lawyer for one of the men said. The men were charged in 2015 with shipping electronics to Iran. Mechanic and Afghahi were both being held in a Houston jail awaiting trial. Faridi, an employee at Mechanic’s electronics company, had been out on bail.
* Obama commuted the sentence of Ali Saboonchi, a U.S. citizen and resident of Maryland, who was convicted of export violations in 2014, his attorney said. He was serving a two-year sentence in Virginia and was due to be released in November 2016. Between 2009 and 2013, Saboonchi and several associates tried to export industrial parts to customers in Iran, according to an indictment filed in 2013. Saboonchi was released in the early hours of Sunday, as part of the prisoner exchange announced on the weekend.
* Obama also commuted the eight-year sentence of Nader Modanlo, an Iranian-American convicted in 2013 of helping Iran launch its first satellite in exchange for a $10 million (£7 million) payment. Modanlo walked out of a Virginia federal prison in the early hours of Sunday, according to his attorney.
* Obama commuted the 78-month sentence of Arash Ghahreman, who was released this weekend, his lawyer said. Ghahreman, an Iranian-American in his mid-40s, was serving a 78-month sentence after being convicted in 2015 of trying to export U.S. built marine navigation to Iran.
* Nima Golestaneh, an Iranian, who pleaded guilty to allegations that he helped in cyber attacks against a Vermont-based defence contractor, was also freed, according to the Swiss Foreign Ministry that helped broker the deal. He was in an upstate New York jail awaiting sentencing earlier this week, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the case.
Fugitives outside the United States against whom charges were dropped:
* U.S. prosecutors have filed a motion to drop charges against Matin Sadeghi, who is out of the country. Sadeghi had been charged in the sanctions violation case against Mechanic and the two other men.
* Prosecutors asked to drop charges against Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, accused in 2014 of helping to ship thousands of Chinese-manufactured parts “with nuclear applications” to Iran. Jamili was also accused of exporting to Iran U.S.-built pressure transducers, used in nuclear centrifuges. In a filing on Saturday, prosecutors asked to dismiss charges against Jamili, based on “significant foreign policy interests.”
* Prosecutors asked to drop charges against Alireza Moazami Goudarzi, who was charged in 2012 with trying to purchase aircraft parts from a U.S. supplier for shipment to Iran. He was arrested in Malaysia in 2012 in connection with the case, and the United States was seeking his extradition, according to the Justice Department.
* Prosecutors also moved to drop charges on Saturday against Koorush Taherkhani, who lives in Iran. Taherkhani was accused in 2014 of using a Dubai front company to buy U.S.-made marine navigation equipment for use in Iran, in violation of sanctions.
Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney