According to official news agency IRNA, Iran’s government spokesman confirmed ongoing negotiations between Iran and the US for a prisoner swap and expressed Iran’s readiness for an all-for-all prisoner exchange.
“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 emphasised that Tehran expects all Iranian citizens imprisoned around the world to be released. Iranians imprisoned in third countries at Washington’s request are regarded by Tehran as US prisoners.
Iran had previously informed the previous US administration under former President Donald Trump of its readiness for such a prisoner swap, but Washington “insisted on holding 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 went on to say that the prisoner issue was being discussed separately from the re-enactment of the 2015 nuclear deal, and that even if the Vienna talks fail to produce results, the US would continue to pursue a prisoner exchange agreement with Iran.