Iran says prisoner swap possible should US acts ‘realistically’
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani has said if the US acts “realistically,” the exchange of prisoners between Tehran and Washington will be possible.
Tehran: An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani has said if the US acts “realistically,” the exchange of prisoners between Tehran and Washington will be possible.
He made the remarks on Monday at a weekly press conference in a response to the US rejection of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s comments on the exchange of prisoners between the two sides on Sunday, official news agency IRNA reported.
Iran is ready to swap prisoners with the US as a humanitarian issue, Kanaani noted, adding that negotiations are underway between Tehran and Washington through mediators with regard to the prisoner exchange issue, Xinhua news agency reported.
“With respect to certain issues, such as the exchange of prisoners, we have already reached agreements (with the US). In March last year, the two sides finalised a written agreement, which was signed by the American side.”
Under the agreement, the US agreed to exchange prisoners regardless of the results of the talks on the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal and removal of the sanctions on Tehran, but the Americans tied the issue to the nuclear negotiations later, the spokesman said,
Turning to the nuclear talks, Kanaani added that Tehran maintains that it is necessary to obtain verifiable guarantees from Washington to ensure the American side’s commitment to any new agreement, given the US’ track record of non-commitment to its obligations.
The Iranian Foreign Minister said on Sunday that Tehran and Washington have reached an agreement on the exchange of prisoners over the past few days, according to IRNA.
Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a live televised interview, saying if everything goes on well on the side of the Americans, the prisoner swap will be done in the coming days.
Speaking to The Associated Press later in the day, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, however, called the Iranian Foreign Minister’s comments “another especially cruel lie that only adds to the suffering of their families”.