TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian diplomat said Friday the United States prevents the release of prisoners as it has taken the detainees “hostage” in order to obtain its own “political goals.”
Outgoing Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi made the remarks in a post on his Twitter account on Friday after British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called on Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi to release Iranian national Anoosheh Ashoori . Ashoori, who previously lived in south east London with his family, was detained in August 2017 and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for cooperating with Mossad and two years for obtaining 33,000 euros in “illicit funds” nearly a year later.
In his tweet, Araqchi blamed Britain’s “friends” in Washington for freezing an agreement on a humanitarian prisoner exchange between Tehran and London.
“You know better than anybody else that deal for release of 10 prisoners-incl Anoosheh Ashoori-was concluded weeks ago but your friends in DC froze it,” he said.
“Ashoori and 9 more are taken hostage by U.S. for political goals,” the top Iranian diplomat added.