The United States will pay $6bn (£4.8bn) to Iran in return for the release of a British national and four Americans held in the country.

The Biden administration has issued a sanctions waiver for international banks to transfer frozen Iranian money. It means that Iranian assets currently held in South Korea will be transferred to Qatar from which Iran will access.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken signed off on the deal last week, but Congress was only informed on Monday. The deal also includes the release of five unnamed Iranian citizens held in the US.

Despite claims the money will be used for humanitarian reasons, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has not kept to the script, subsequently saying that it is up to his government to decide how it will spend the money, saying “Humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people need.”

In an interview with NBC News, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said: “This money belongs to the Islamic Republic of Iran and naturally we will decide, the Islamic Republic of Iran, will decide to spend wherever we need it.”

Asked by NBC News presenter Lester Holt, in Tehran, if the money will be used for more than humanitarian purposes, Mr Raisi replied: “Humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people need. This money will be budgeted for those needs and the needs of the Iranian people will be decided and determined by the Iranian government.”

The US-Iranian dual nationals include businessmen Siamak Namazi, 51, and Emad Shargi, 58, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 67, who has British citizenship.

They had all been jailed at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran on spying charges.

The identity of the fourth US citizen allowed out of prison has not been made public, while a fifth man was already under house arrest.

The agreement also includes the release of five unnamed Iranian citizens held in the US