TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s proposal to exchange prisoners with the United States is serious, but it was nothing new.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mousavi said the Iranian Foreign Ministry, within the framework of its responsibilities, is prepared to take action on the swap of individuals convicted and imprisoned by Iran’s Judiciary on specific charges.
He underlined that the foreign ministry would do so in exchange for both the release of all Iranians jailed in the United States on illegal charges of violating sanctions, and the granting of nolle prosequis to those detained in various countries on baseless charges of violating the US’ illegal sanctions or under Washington’s pressure, IFP reported.
Mousavi also slammed as “hasty” the US officials’ reaction to Zarif’s proposal and their call for the one-sided release of all US prisoners.
The reaction shows they lack a proper understanding of the concepts of negotiation, agreement, and exchange, and that proves they have not been honest in their claims and propaganda in the past months, the spokesman said.
He reiterated that if there is a will in the US regime, the Iranian top diplomat’s proposal is clear and does not require any interpretation and clarification.
Mousavi’s comments came after Zarif publicly expressed Tehran’s preparedness for a prisoner swap with the US, saying he has been authorized to negotiate the deal with American officials.
“I can involve myself on these issues (Iranian and US prisoners) as a foreign minister… when there is a possibility of an exchange… We have a separate judiciary, and the judiciary says that they have committed offenses… I may not agree with that, but that’s not my job. My job is to try to arrange for a deal, an exchange; I did it once, we reached an agreement and I put this offer on the table publicly now: exchange them,” Zarif said on Wednesday at the Asia Society in New York.
“We believe their charges are phony. The United States believes charges against these people in Iran are phony. Fine, let’s not discuss that. Let’s have an exchange. I am ready to do it and I have the authority to do it,” Zarif added.