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Home World News Washington Post World News Top Iranian diplomat claims prisoner swap near US

Top Iranian diplomat claims prisoner swap near US

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s top diplomat claimed on Sunday that a prisoner swap with the US was imminent, though he offered no evidence to support his claim. US officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his remarks.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has made similar comments in the past about possible deals with the US over frozen assets abroad and other issues that never came to fruition. Some of those comments were designed to bolster domestic support amid the mass protests challenging Iran’s theocracy and supporting the country’s troubled rial currency.

However, in an interview with Iran’s state television on Sunday, Amirabdollahian claimed that Iran had “reached an agreement on the exchange of prisoners between Iran and the United States in recent days.”

“If all goes well on the American side, I think we will see the prisoner exchange in the short term,” he added. He claimed that a document between Iran and the US outlining the exchange has been “indirectly signed and approved” since March 2022.

The US State Department and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press on Sunday.

Iran has long taken captives with Western passports or ties to use in negotiations with foreign nations.

At least four US citizens are currently known to be held in Iranian prisons on widely disputed espionage charges.

The evidence against them has never been made public. The detainees all have dual American-Iranian citizenship, something Tehran does not recognize.

In recent days, however, Iranian-American prisoner Siamak Namazi has been allowed to conduct an interview with CNN from Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison — something that would not have happened without the consent of security forces.

Meanwhile, Ali Bagheri Kani, a deputy Iranian foreign minister who has held nuclear talks with world powers, made a trip to Oman, a longtime interlocutor between Tehran and Washington, on Sunday.

Amirabdollahian’s comments also come after Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by China, announced on Friday they would restore diplomatic ties and reopen embassies after a seven-year freeze in relations.



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