Iran says no negotiation held with US on prisoner swap
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 29
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran has rejected negotiating with the US about a prisoner swap.
"No bilateral negotiation was held between Tehran and Washington for a swap of the prisoners," Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said, semi-official Fars news agency reported Sept. 29.
The Iranian government legally pursues the situation of all Iranians jailed abroad, including those who are in US prisons, he added.
Meanwhile the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani said on Sept. 27 that Tehran would work to free three Americans from its prisons if the United States releases jailed Iranians.
"If the Americans take the appropriate steps and set them free, certainly the right environment will be open, and the right circumstances will be created for us to do everything within our power and our purview to bring about the swiftest freedom for the Americans held in Iran as well."
On the other hand the US rejected Rouhani's proposal. President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that Americans being held Iran should be released on humanitarian grounds.
At least three Americans, all of them of Iranian heritage, are in jail in Iran including Jason Rezaian, a correspondent for The Washington Post who was arrested in July 2014 and accused of spying.
The two other Americans are Amir Hekmati, a former US Marine who was charged with spying, and Saeed Abedini, a convert to Christianity who formed a Bible study group.
The US has 19 Iranian citizens in prison, all on charges related to sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.
Edited by CN
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