Released US prisoner speaks on ordeal

Former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, who was one of four Americans released by Iran as part of a prisoner swap, is in good health and looking forward to getting home soon, a congressman said Tuesday.

Amir Hekmati (3rd from L) poses with (L to R) family members Ramy Kurdi, Sarah Hekmati, U.S. Congres ...

They were among five Americans whose release coincided with the lifting last weekend of economic sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

Hekmati was released at the weekend along with four other Americans in a deal negotiated between Washington and Iran. "It's something that does not compromise Amir's integrity", said Kildee, adding that he hadn't specifically talked to Hekmati about his feelings on that topic yet.

Rezaian said his last few hours in Iranian custody were among the most anxious, calling his departure from Iran and handover to Swiss officials as "touch and go until the last minute", fearing something would go wrong.

"I did not relax until we were out of Iranian airspace", Hekmati said.

Abedini, a naturalized USA citizen of Iranian origin, arrived at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, a Christian conference center in Asheville, North Carolina, that is linked to popular evangelist Billy Graham.

The Iranian-American Washington Post journalist was freed on Saturday in a prisoner swap between his two homelands, and has been flown to Landstuhl in Germany to receive treatment after his ordeal.

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".

"For now, I want to catch up with what's been going on in the world, watch a Warriors game or two, and see the Star Wars movie", he said in a statement released by the Washington Post Wednesday morning.

Hekmati who spent more than 4 years in a prison in Iran, said the news of his release came as a surprise. "When told, well, you're a social person, he laughed and responded, 'Yes, I am!'" Post executive editor Martin Baron and foreign editor Douglas Jehl said. "I feel alive for the first time".

Hekmati was arrested in August 2011 on espionage charges dismissed by his family.

Rezaian was held prisoner in Iran for roughly a year and a half before Saturday's exchange between the two countries. Khamenei did not cite any specific US officials, but some Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates have strongly criticized the accord.

And all of them made a decision to stay in the USA, officials familiar with the process told ABC NEWS.

Iran denounces new U.S. sanctions on ballistic missile program
The remarks, his first since the deal was implemented over the weekend, came in a letter to President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday. Iran has always denied wanting nuclear weapons, saying its activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes.