Iran denies reports of prisoner swap with US

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: May 03, 2021, 04:41 PM(IST)

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

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A senior White House official had also denied the report on Sunday

Iran denied media reports suggesting that a prisoner swap deal had been reached with the US parallely with nuclear deal talks.

On Sunday, media outlets including Iranian state television had quoted "informed" source to say that Tehran and Washingtion would swap prisoners.

"Under pressure from the (US) Congress and the need for immediate results" in the nuclear file, "the Americans agreed to pay $7 million and release four Iranians... in exchange for four American spies," the source reportedly said.

"The reports from informed sources are not confirmed, as it was said in the past," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a news conference.

But he added that "there are always plans and ideas to be pursued", without elaborating.

A senior White House official had also denied the report on Sunday.

"There is no agreement to release these four Americans," White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on CBS's "Face the Nation".

"We're working very hard to get them released. So far there is no agreement to bring these four Americans home," he said.

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Iranian state broadcaster also said that British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe would be freed. She has been imprisoned in Iran from 2016.

However, British officials played down the report of her release.

The reports came as Iran takes part in talks with world powers over reviving the 2015 deal over its nuclear programme.

On Saturday, negotiators meeting in the Austrian capital Vienna expressed "cautious and growing optimism" for a solution.

The agreement, which curbs Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, has been on life support since then-US president Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

(With inputs from agencies)

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