Obama says tireless effort led to prisoner swap

Posted at 9:22 AM, Jan 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-17 11:22:12-05

President Barack Obama says Americans long held in Iran will soon be reunited with their families and says "tireless" diplomacy made it possible.

Obama spoke as the Americans were on their way to Switzerland, a day after their release as part of a prisoner swap.

Under the deal, the U.S. was pardoning or dropping charges against seven Iranians citizens accused or convicted of violating U.S. sanctions.

Obama says the released Iranians weren't charged with terrorism. He says their release is "one-time gesture" to Iran.

Obama says the U.S. will continue to search for Robert Levinson, a U.S. citizen long missing in Iran.

U.S. officials negotiated the prisoner exchange alongside the nuclear talks that led to Saturday's release of economic sanctions against Iran.