Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The US Republicans asked Iran to delay the recent prisoner exchange until the upcoming presidential elections in the US, an Iranian official has claimed.
"The current American administration's Republican rivals, who claim to advocate human rights, sent a message to Iranian officials, asking to delay the release of US prisoners until the 2016 presidential election," semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, as saying Feb. 11.
He further said Iran acted upon its independent will in the process of the prisoner swap.
Last month Iran freed four Americans of Iranian descent from prison, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, in a delicately negotiated swap with the US, which released seven Iranians who had been held on sanctions violations.
Shamkhani further said that Iran's decision to release the US prisoners was based on humanitarian approach, their families' requests, to secure the release of Iranian citizens detained in the US, and in line with the Islamic Republic's interests.