Iran challenges Donald Trump to return to nuclear deal

WION Web Team
Tehran, Iran Published: Jun 05, 2020, 07.01 PM(IST)

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (File photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Iran freed Michael White on Thursday as part of a deal in which the United States allowed Iranian-American physician Majid Taheri to visit Iran.

Seizing on Donald Trump’s conciliatory tone after Tehran released an American Navy veteran, Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif challenged the US president on Friday to return to the nuclear deal that Washington abandoned two years ago.

Iran freed Michael White on Thursday as part of a deal in which the United States allowed Iranian-American physician Majid Taheri to visit Iran.

Also read: Deal is possible: Trump says 'thank you to Iran' as US Navy veteran Michael White released from prison

Trump tweeted on Thursday of White's release: "Thank you to Iran, it shows a deal is possible!"

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, addressing Trump, said on Twitter, "We achieved humanitarian swap despite your subordinates' efforts".

"We had a deal when you entered office. ... Your advisors -most fired by now - made a dumb bet. Up to you to decide when you want to fix it."

Also read: American detained in Iran since 2018 freed, to rejoin family in US 'very soon': Trump

Trump pulled out in 2018 of the nuclear deal with major powers, under which Tehran curbed its nuclear work in return for the lifting of many international sanctions on Iran. Since quitting the agreement, Washington has reimposed sanctions to throttle Iran’s oil exports as part of a policy of “maximum pressure”.

Thursday’s prisoner swap was a rare instance of US-Iranian cooperation. Also on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi confirmed that Zarif met Bill Richardson, a former US envoy to the United Nations, "months ago" over prisoner releases.

"We have always responded positively to humanitarian efforts that would lead to the release of Iranian hostages in the United States and elsewhere," Mousavi told the official IRNA news agency.

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