TEHRAN -- Iran insisted on Sunday that a prisoner swap deal has been agreed with the United States, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said, a day after Washington denied such an agreement had been reached.
“’Outrageous’ = the U.S. denying simple fact that there IS an agreed deal on the matter of the detainees. Even on how to announce it,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a tweet.
“Humanitarian swap was agreed with US & UK in Vienna - separate from JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) - on release of 10 prisoners on all sides. Iran is ready to proceed TODAY.”
On Saturday, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, tweeted that the U.S. and Britain must stop linking a humanitarian exchange with the nuclear talks.
The talks at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna are aimed at reviving a 2015 deal between Iran and six major powers.
Washington abandoned the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Araqchi said the seventh round of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington would not resume until Iran’s President-elect, Ebrahim Raisi, takes office in early August.
The sixth round of the talks in Vienna adjourned on 20 June.
Tehran and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration have been communicating on prisoner exchanges aimed at securing the release of Iranians held in U.S. jails and other countries, and of Americans jailed in Iran.
Observers believe the U.S. is seeking to tie the release of Iranian assets illegally frozen under its draconian sanctions to the issue of American prisoners in Iran or open a channel for negotiations with Tehran on issues which the Islamic Republic has declared as absolutely non-negotiable.