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Iranian president reveals plans for spending $6 billion gained in US prisoner exchange

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi says the Iranian government will spend the $6 billion it gained in a prisoner exchange with the U.S., “wherever we need it.”

Raisi made the comments in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt on Tuesday after coming to an agreement with the U.S. to release five American prisoners. In exchange, the U.S. will release five Iranian citizens and unfreeze $6 billion in Iranian oil assets previously locked up in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.

“This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money,” Raisi said Tuesday. “Humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people needs, so this money will be budgeted for those needs and the needs of the Iranian people will be decided and determined by the Iranian government.”

Under the deal, Iran will only have access to the funds through Qatar’s central bank, and U.S. officials say the bank will ensure Iran only uses the funds for humanitarian purposes.

Iran has not publicly provided a timeline for the release of the American prisoners. Raisi says each of them are in good health, however, and that they will be released in “due time.”

Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to Anders.Hagstrom@Fox.com, or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.

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