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Russia denies prisoner swap on agenda of Iran-US nuclear talks

Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vienna Office Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov leaves after attending a session of meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on "Iran nuclear deal talks" in Vienna, Austria on 1 May 2021. [Aşkın Kıyağan - Anadolu Agency]
Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vienna Office Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov leaves after attending a session of meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on "Iran nuclear deal talks" in Vienna, Austria on 1 May 2021. [Aşkın Kıyağan - Anadolu Agency]

Russia's permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, yesterday denied remarks claiming the United States and Iran were discussing a prisoner exchange as part of talks currently taking place in the Austrian capital to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

"American or Iranian detainees are not a part of the Vienna talks," Ulyanov, who also heads the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks, wrote on Twitter.

The Russian official was remarking on a statement by former White House National Security Council official, Richard Goldberg, who said: "If the past is prologue, we should anticipate some kind of unacknowledged deal to pay Iran for the release of American hostages alongside the return to JCPOA."

Earlier on Sunday, Washington denied a report by Iran's state television claiming it had agreed to exchange prisoners in return for the release of $7 billion of Iranian oil funds which have been frozen as a result of US sanctions.

Iran negotiator: based on accords so far, US sanctions on oil, banks would be lifted

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