The spokesman for Iran’s government confirmed the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the United States for a prisoner swap, and voiced Iran’s readiness for an all-for-all prisoner exchange, official news agency IRNA reported.
“We have repeatedly stated that Iran is ready, for humanitarian reasons, to exchange all (U.S.) political prisoners for all Iranian prisoners,” the spokesman for Iran’s cabinet, Ali Rabiee, said at a press briefing.
Rabiee stressed that Tehran expects the release of all Iranian citizens imprisoned around the world. Iranians imprisoned in third countries at the request of Washington are considered by Tehran as prisoners of the United States.
Iran already notified the readiness for such a prisoner swap to the previous U.S. administration under former President Donald Trump, but Washington “insisted on taking the Iranians hostage” and refused to sit at the negotiating table, Rabiee added.
The Biden administration showed interest in Iran’s exchange offer “since its first days in office,” and as soon as “acceptable results” are achieved, the Iranian Foreign Ministry will announce it, he said.
On Saturday, the U.S. special envoy for Iran Robert Malley said the negotiations with Iran for a prisoner exchange had “made some progress,” adding that Washington would not accept a “partial deal,” but only the release of all U.S. prisoners in Iran.
Malley added that the prisoner issue was being discussed separately from the revitalisation of the 2015 nuclear deal, adding that even if the Vienna talks fail to yield results, the United States would continue to pursue a prisoner exchange agreement with Iran.