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Iran Foreign Ministry Says Proposed Prisoner Swap is Not Linked to Nuclear Talks

The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna on March 1, 2021. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)
The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna on March 1, 2021. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Aug. 22 that a prisoner swap with Washington isn’t linked to indirect talks with the United States to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We emphasize that the exchange of prisoners with Washington is a separate issue and it has nothing to do with the process of negotiations to revive the 2015 pact,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani told reporters on Aug. 22.

Iran has demanded that several Iranians who are being detained on charges linked to U.S. sanctions be released, while the United States has repeatedly called for several Iranian–American dual nationals—who are being held in Iran on security charges—to be freed, including businessman Siamak Namazi.

On Aug. 16, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted about Namazi, who was detained in 2015 and given a 10-year sentence following a closed-door trial.

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