Iran says ready for prisoner swap with U.S.

March 9, 2021 - 17:54

TEHRAN - Ali Rabiei, the spokesperson for the Iranian government, on Tuesday expressed Tehran’s readiness for exchange of all prisoners with the United States.

Talking in a regular news briefing, he reiterated the positions already declared by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about a prisoner swap, saying, “We are ready to exchange all inmates. Such a thing has not happened so far because the U.S. has not been prepared.”
 
“The two sides can make a decision about it,” Tasnim quoted the government spokesman as saying.
 
“There are many Iranians across the world who have been jailed on the U.S. order. Decisions and measures are being adopted in this regard, but we believe that, as mentioned by Mr. Zarif, we can negotiate about all the inmates at once and solve the problem all at once,” Rabiei said.

Last month, Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, rejected a claim by a U.S. official that Tehran and Washington have begun direct talks over American prisoners in Iran and vice versa, saying that there have been no direct negotiations between the two countries on any matter.

“There were a number of Iranian prisoners in the United States who have been detained on false charges without going through due process, and securing their freedom had been always a priority for the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he stressed. 

The spokesman, however, denied any direct contacts with the United States over the situation of prisoners under the new U.S. administration, adding that some messages concerning this issue have been exchanged with American officials via the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which serves as the U.S. interests section, or foreign ministers of other countries.

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