Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) released this statement on the Obama administration’s prisoner swap with Tehran after a plane carrying the detained Americans departed Iran:

It is a huge relief that these Americans are finally coming home.  The torture and pain these citizens had to endure over their long years of captivity in Iran is unimaginable.  All of them should have been unconditionally released a long time ago. Period.

“Instead, a disturbing pattern is emerging where the Obama administration is willing to negotiate the release of spies, terrorists and now criminals.  I fail to see how this trend will improve the long-term security of the United States and its citizens.  The Obama administration will need to answer why this policy won’t encourage terrorist groups and regimes to step up their efforts to target Americans.  And the Iranians still need to answer for Robert Levinson, an American citizen who has been missing in Iran since 2007.”