Tehran-Washington prisoner swap has nothing to do with Vienna talks

May 2, 2021 - 22:19

TEHRAN— According to an informed source, the agenda on Vienna negotiations did not and has not included the prisoner swap between Tehran-Washington and Tehran-London.

At the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on May 1, the agenda was to discuss the names of the Iranian individuals and entities on the United States and European Union sanctions list.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi said on May 1, after the Joint Commission meeting, discussions are underway about a long list of individuals and organizations put on the sanctions list and that Iran wants them removed as well. 

He stressed that there are disputes about a few names and entities. 

"According to the agreements reached so far, sanctions on the energy sector or the car industry, financial sectors, banking systems, and ports should be lifted," Araghchi said after the JCPOA joint commission meeting.

This clarifies the Vienna negotiations agenda, denying claims that the Tehran-Washington and Tehran-London prisoner swap was discussed in the Joint Commission meetings. 

According to Al Mayadeen News Network, Tehran and Washington have agreed to exchange four American spies for $7b and four Iranian prisoners. 

The Iranian prisoners have helped circumvent the U.S. sanctions, while the American prisoners have been spying for the CIA. 

Similar negotiations have taken place between Iran and the UK, resulting in the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, in exchange for London unfreezing 400 million pounds of frozen Iranian funds in London. 

History suggests that these negotiations take place between top foreign policy and national security officials. Therefore, it cannot be expected that deputies would discuss such issues.   

SA/AJ

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