Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali took to Twitter this week to float out a message about Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian, who had been unjustly detained in Iran for 544 days.

Rezaian was released this weekend from prison in Tehran. The plane carrying Rezaian and his family cleared Iranian air space on Sunday, Jan. 17.

“Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes,” tweeted Ali. “The best gift of all was learning about Jason Rezaian’s release from Iran – a true blessing.”

Ali issued a statement on March 12, 2015, pleading with Iran to release Rezaian who was taken from his home in Tehran on July 22, 2014. Ali had been instrumental in obtaining the release of Americans captured in Iran in the past. Ali’s March 12 statement about Rezaian was his first public statement since the death of Nelson Mandela.

Muhammad Ali’s birthday was January 17. He was 74.

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