Source: Tehran Times
Iranian national Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan (C), who has spent five years in US detention, walks next to her daughters as she arrives at Muscat International Airport, Oman, August 7, 2012.
Shahrzad Mir-Qolikhan (C), who has spent five years in US detention, walks next to her daughters as she arrives at Muscat International Airport, Oman, August 7, 2012.
Mir-Qolikhan and her husband were arrested by the Austrian police on charges of purchasing dual-use equipment. She was released from prison after completing her sentence and returned to Iran.
But Mir-Qolikhan was then arrested during a trip to Cyprus in 2007 and was extradited to the United States in response to a request by the U.S. government.
She was sentenced to five years in prison and had been incarcerated in the United States since December 19, 2007.
An unidentified U.S. State Department official said that Mir-Qolikhan completed her prison sentence and left the country, AFP reported.
An Omani official thanked the U.S. government for releasing Mir-Qolikhan "on humanitarian grounds and following efforts made by Oman", Oman News Agency (ONA) said.
"This humanitarian initiative will serve the interests of both countries and stability in the region," the unidentified official added.
Upon her arrival at Muscat International Airport, Mir-Qolikhan thanked Sultan Qaboos of Oman for mediating her release.
She said that she was "happy to be free again... and to start a new life", ONA quoted her as saying.
"I am looking forward to be(ing) with my mother and my two daughters that I have missed five years of their precious lives and spent innocently in prison in the United States," she said.
Sultan Qaboos had already mediated in certain cases, including the cases of the people who had illegally entered Iran.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on September 22, 2011, saying that Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, the two U.S. citizens who were arrested in Iran in 2009, had been released in an act of Islamic clemency and in response to requests by a number of senior foreign officials, including Sultan Qaboos.
U.S. citizens Sarah Shourd, Bauer, and Fattal were arrested by border guards on July 31, 2009 after illegally entering Iran's territory from Iraq's Kurdistan region. The three were charged with illegal entry and espionage.
Shourd was released on a bail of $500,000 on September 14, 2010 in an act of Islamic clemency, while Bauer and Fattal were released on a bail of $500,000 each on September 21, 2010.
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