Ready for Prisoner Swaps, Iran Says US Holding 20 Iranians
A prisoner exchange over the weekend saw Iran free a Chinese-American scholar from Princeton who had been held for three years on widely criticized espionage charges. It was seen as a rare diplomatic breakthrough between Tehran and Washington after months of tensions.
“We told the American side that our figure is more or less 20 but this is not final,” IRNA quoted as saying Mohsen Baharvand, an aid to Iran’s foreign minister. The report didn’t provide further details on the claim.
According to Baharvand, U.S. authorities say that Iran is holding one American national and five dual U.S.-Iranian nationals. He said Iranian officials didn’t have “any orders” so far to begin talks on their release, though he suggested this could be the next “phase” in indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington.
U.S. citizens held in Iran include U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, who is serving a 10-year espionage sentence, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian with U.S. and British citizenship also initially sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Also in Iran are 83-year-old Baquer Namazi and his son, Siamak Namazi, dual Iranian-American nationals facing 10-year sentences after they were convicted of collaborating with a hostile power. Baquer Namazi now is on a prison furlough. However, the Namazis say he remains unable to leave Iran.
Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission, remains missing as well. Iran says that Levinson is not in the country and that it has no further information about him, but his family holds Tehran responsible for his disappearance.
Baharvand said Iran didn’t undertake direct talks with the U.S. for the weekend’s prisoner swap in Switzerland. The two sides only communicated through Swiss officials, who represent U.S. interests in Iran. Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Source: VOA News
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Jul 22, 2020 Comments Off on Ayatollah Khamenei Hints Iran Yet to Strike ‘Reciprocal Blow’ Against US Over Soleimani Killing
Mar 16, 2020 Comments Off on Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Iranian Officials Plan To Build Nuclear Bomb
Mar 12, 2020 Comments Off on House passes Iran War Powers resolution opposed by Trump
Mar 05, 2020 Comments Off on Translator Accused of Revealing U.S. Secrets Amid Tensions With Iran
Sep 19, 2020 Comments Off on Trump to declare Iran sanctions ‘snapback’ in virtual address to UN
Sep 19, 2020 Comments Off on Nuclear deal with Iran to be killed by Trump before UN speech
Sep 19, 2020 Comments Off on E3 says Iran sanctions relief to continue beyond Sep. 20
Sep 18, 2020 Comments Off on US sanctions on Iran futile, not to work: Lavrov
Jul 25, 2020 Comments Off on ‘Flagrant violation’: Iran protests US jet approach at UNIran has protested the “flagrant violation” of international law to the United Nations after it said United States fighter jets sparked panic on an Iranian passenger plane over Syria. ...
Jul 22, 2020 Comments Off on Ayatollah Khamenei Hints Iran Yet to Strike ‘Reciprocal Blow’ Against US Over Soleimani KillingThe January 3 drone strike assassination of Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad brought Iran and the US to the brink of war, with Tehran responding with missile strikes on...
Feb 10, 2020 Comments Off on Qasem Soleimani, a hero or a terrorist?On 3rd of January a news spread in social media regarding Qasem Soleimani and AbuMahdi Mohandes who has died by a US drone strike near Baghdad Airport and this was the end of their lives. In social media, especially Iranian users, there was a chaotic situation, some called of “the general of...