Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian thanked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for negotiating his release from an Iranian prison in his first public appearance since leaving Iran nearly two weeks ago.
Rezaian, jailed for 18 months after being accused of espionage, was freed this month in a prisoner swap negotiated between the United States and Iran coinciding with the implementation of a deal that curbs Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Rezaian received a standing ovation from foreign dignitaries, journalists and family members at a ceremony for the opening of the Washington Post's new offices in Washington, D.C.
In brief but emotional remarks, he thanked the Washington Post leadership, U.S. officials, and his family for advocating on his behalf.
"For much of the 18 months I was in prison, my Iranian interrogators told me that the Washington Post did not exist, that no one knew my plight, and that the United States government would not lift a finger for my release," Rezaian said. "Today I'm here in this room with the very people who helped prove the Iranians wrong in so many ways."