00:14 GMT15 April 2021
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    Trump said that if elected in 2016, he would successfully free four Americans serving jail sentences in Iran.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told a crowd at the US Capitol that if elected in 2016, he would successfully free four Americans serving jail sentences in Iran in less than three months before he was inaugurated.

    "If I win the presidency, I guarantee you that those four prisoners are back in our country before I ever take office," Trump told a rally of several hundred people protesting the Iran nuclear agreement. "I guarantee that. They will be back before I ever take office because they know that’s what has to happen."

    Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, another candidate running for the Republican presidential nomination, told the rally.

    The four Americans serving sentences in Iran are Washington Post reporter Jason Razaian, former US Marine Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Robert Levinson.

    Trump said Iran will know they have to return the prisoners once he is elected president.

    "They know it, and if they don’t know it, I’m telling them right now," he said. "And frankly, they are never going to come back with this group [the Obama administration]."

    It was the first time Trump had ever pledged to secure the release of the prisoners within a specific time frame.

    His pledge echoed the success of former President Ronald Reagan in ensuring the release by Iran of 52 American hostages who had been captured when the US Embassy in Tehran was stormed by Islamic revolutionary forces in 1979. The hostages were then held captive for 444 days.

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    Tags:
    prisoner release, Donald Trump, Iran, US
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