Iran: Tehran “ready to cooperate” with Washington for more prisoner swaps – gov. spokesperson
Despite the nuclear agreement reached, the problem of American prisoners in Iran remains unresolved
Iran is not considering a prisoner swap with the United States, a senior official said ahead of an expected sentence on an Iranian-American journalist who has been held in Tehran for over a year..
“The reports of a possible exchange of prisoners do not correspond to reality, this issue is not being considered,” the ISNA agency quotes Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hasan Kashkavi.
Rumors of a possible prisoner swap between Iran and the United States circulated before and after the landmark nuclear deal last month, but both countries have consistently denied such an agreement is inevitable..
Jason Rezayan, the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, was arrested in July 2014 on espionage charges. The last hearing behind closed doors took place in early August. The verdict of the Revolutionary Court is expected soon.
Other American citizens detained in Iran are Christian pastor Said Abedini and former US Marine sergeant Amir Hekmati. Private detective Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran in 2007.
Qashqawi said sixteen Iranians are in American prisons for violating the sanctions regime, and about 60 prisoners for other crimes.
Rezaian, who was born in California, faces charges of collecting confidential information and passing it on to hostile governments, writing a letter to US President Barack Obama, and acting against national security. Washington Post called accusations “absurd”.
The Obama administration faced criticism for not securing the release of Americans as part of a pivotal deal to end Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
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