Hekmati says he feels lucky after Iran prisoner swap release

The Flint, Michigan native told reporters Tuesday outside the US military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany that news of his impending release came as a surprise.

Rep. Dan Kildee of MI posted photos of his meeting with Hekmati on Twitter, as well as a message from Hekmati thanking President Barack Obama for "making my freedom and reunion with my family possible".

Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter, was arrested in July 2014 on trumped-up charges.

Hekmati, appearing calm and healthy, wore a heavy black sweater and jeans as he met journalists near the entrance to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center with his brother-in-law and Rep. Daniel Kildee, the Democratic congressman from his district in MI.

Speaking publicly for the first time since being allowed to leave Iran in a prisoner swap Sunday, Hekmati said the sudden end to his four-year ordeal still seemed surreal.

Amir said today he was "very humbled at everybody's support, from the president, to Congress, to my fellow Marines and especially my family, who have really gone through so much throughout this time".

The group was among four Iranian Americans released as part of a two-country deal under which the United States also pardoned or dropped charges against 21 Iranians in sanctions-related cases.

"Think about a person who spent four-and-a-half years much of it in solitary confinement", said Kildee.

The Iranian government and military said Monday that the new sanctions show continued USA hostility toward Iran and vowed defiantly to further develop Iran's missile program. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can.

Hekmati, a 32-year-old former Marine born in the US, was incarcerated in Iran in 2011, charged with espionage while visiting relatives there. "It's a tough thing to go through but I have a sense he's going to be just fine", said Kildee, who expects to return to the U.S. Wednesday and Hekmati to finish medical evaluations in a few days and return to MI with his family then.

An American pastor, Saeed Abedini, jailed in 2012 for spreading Christianity, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, whose reasons for being in Iran are still unclear, also were freed Saturday. All are dual U.S.-Iranian nationals, as was a fourth freed prisoner who opted to stay in Iran.

The daughter of ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who has been missing for nine years, said their father had been left behind.

One of the Iranian-Americans freed in a historic prisoner swap with Washington over the weekend described his final hours in captivity as "nerve-wracking", in images broadcast Tuesday by USA television channel MSNBC.

"So up until the last second we were all anxious and concerned", he said. A fifth American detainee, student Matthew Trevithick, was released separately and has already returned to the United States.

"You know, I was at a point where I had just sort of accepted the fact that I was going to be spending 10 years in prison", he added.

Bus driver said he was tired before deadly crash
KRON 4's Will Tran spoke with passengers about the terrifying moments when the bus overturned in the video above. One male passenger suffered "major injuries" and three other adults were also hurt, he said.