No Deal With Iran to Swap Prisoners

No Deal With Iran to Swap Prisoners

However, Mr Khamenei did not immediately discuss any proposed swap amid negotiations in Vienna over Tehran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers, and the United States denied the prisoner swap report.

Even after an initial American denial, an anchorwoman on Iranian state TV still repeated the announcement.

A senior White House official on Sunday denied reports from Tehran that an agreement had been reached with Iran for the release of four Americans detained there.

It was being said that Iran has made the claim before, without her having been released, and that the Government's position has not changed.

State TV did not identify the Iranians that Tehran sought to be freed.

"We have not yet discussed with her what two more years without mummy means", he said in an article published Saturday on the website Declassified UK.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price immediately denied the report, saying: "Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true".

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family said they were unaware of any payment in return for her release, their MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq tweeted. "There is no agreement to release these four Americans", Klain said on CBS "Face the Nation".

Iran is known to hold four Americans in prison, including Baquer and Siamak Namazi, environmentalist Morad Tahbaz and Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi. Iran long has been accused of holding those with Western ties as prisoners to be later used as bargaining chips in negotiations. "So far there is no agreement to bring these four Americans home".

In addition, the state TV report quoted the source as saying Britain had agreed to pay $552 million for the release of a British-Iranian woman, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

London admits it owes Iran over the contract involving a British intermediate company, International Military Services (IMS), but is reportedly constrained by international sanctions in its ability to repay.

"We continue to explore options to resolve this 40-year-old case and will not comment further as legal discussions are ongoing", a Foreign Office spokesperson said, in reference to the debt.

Iran will free a number of prisoners with Western ties - including British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - in exchange for billions of pounds from the USA and the United Kingdom, according to state television.

An Iranian court sentenced her last month to another year in jail, weeks after she finished the prior five-year sentence, a decision Britain called inhumane.

Her family and the foundation, a charity that operates independently of media firm Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters, deny all charges against her and say she was only visiting relatives in Iran.

"We haven't heard anything", he said. "Of course, we probably wouldn't, but my instinct is to be skeptical at present".

Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted that the aid worker was effectively being held hostage by Iran.

"I think she's been treated in the most abusive, tortuous way", Raab said.

"I think it amounts to torture the way she's being treated", Mr Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme.

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