And it came after 29 months in prison.
Taghavi arrived at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday night. He was weary but happy, with loved ones waiting for him at the airport.
"I am thankful for the support of my son and daughter and my family," Taghavi said. "Now I am back.. I want to be at home.. I am glad I am here.. I hope everything is going to be alright from now on."
Taghavi was released from prison on Saturday. Iranian authorities offered no explanation.
He had been arrested in 2008 after allegedly passing along 200 dollars to a man accused by Iran of anti-government terrorist ties. Taghavi says he did pass along the money as a favor for another man. He says he knew nothing about the recipient. He was never charged or tried.
At 71 years old, Taghavi says he wondered if he would ever make it back to the U.S. Now that he is back, he says he realizes more than ever what it means to be home.