Iran Ready to Swap Prisoners, Urges U.S. to Free Jailed Iranians

Iranian lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabei, who represents dual U.S.-Iranian citizens Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer works at his office in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is ready to swap prisoners with the United States, its foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on Wednesday, calling on President Joe Biden’s administration to “act instead of performing theatrical shows.”

Tehran has sought the release of over a dozen Iranians in the United States, including seven Iranian-American dual nationals, two Iranians with permanent U.S. residency and four Iranian citizens with no legal status in the United States.

“We are ready to swap prisoners with Washington … The U.S. must release jailed Iranian citizens without any conditions,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani as saying.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that Siamak Namazi had now spent 2,500 days “wrongfully detained” in Iran and Washington was determined to secure the freedom of all Americans held by its Middle East adversary.

Kannani spoke with Tehran and Washington trying to revive a 2015 nuclear pact after lengthy negotiations. The European Union and United States said on Tuesday they were studying Iran’s response to what the EU has called its “final” proposal to save the deal, after Tehran called on Washington to show flexibility.

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