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Free US prisoners touch down in Germany after 'turning point' deal

A plane carrying four US prisoners freed by Iran on Saturday as part of a prisoner swap deal has landed in Germany.

It comes amid the lifting of international sanctions against the country which Iran's President Hassan Rouhani hailed as "a golden page" in its history and "a turning point" in its economy.

The sanctions were lifted after an international nuclear watchdog confirmed Iran had complied with a deal designed to prevent it developing nuclear weapons.

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Iran prisoner swap shows warming relations with US

Dr Sanam Vakil

The release of a US journalist and three other dual citizens by Iran shows the extent to which relations have improved between the former foes, a Middle East analyst has said.

Dr Sanam Vakil said the releases under a bilateral prisoner swap had been a "surprise addition" to a landmark nuclear deal that saw international sanctions on Iran lifted last night.

"Its a sign of the confidence building that has come out of the nuclear agreement," she said.

Neither Iran nor the United States have had diplomatic relations for well over three decades - there's a lot of tension and mistrust.

But its sign that this is an administration in Iran that is seeking to build bridges and in areas of mutual interest there can be cooperation.

– Dr Sanam Vakil

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