Iran is ready to immediately start the implementation of its prisoner swap deal with the United States to guarantee the return of “innocent” Iranian prisoners to their families, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a press conference yesterday.
Kanaani told reporters that his country has pursued the prisoner swap deal independently from nuclear deal talks, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Kanaani found it “surprising” that the United States “has resorted to propaganda against Iran instead of removing the obstacles on the way of releasing the prisoners in practice,” the official news agency added.
IRNA did not provide details on the Americans jailed in Iran or how many there are. Nor did it elaborate on the prisoner swap deal.
Kanaani’s remarks came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted on Tuesday about Iranian-American prisoner Siamak Namazi.
“Siamak Namazi has now spent 2,500 days wrongfully detained in Iran. We are determined to secure his freedom and ensure all Americans who have been wrongfully detained by Iran, including his father Baquer, can return home,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.
Siamak Namazi has now spent 2,500 days wrongfully detained in Iran. We are determined to secure his freedom and ensure all Americans who have been wrongfully detained by Iran, including his father Baquer, can return home.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 16, 2022
In 2019, the two countries carried out a prisoner exchange wherein Iran released American scientist Xiyue Wang, whom it had detained since 2016 on charges of espionage. In return, the United States released Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani who was accused of breaching American trade sanctions imposed on Tehran.