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Iran. US critical of Tehran’s claims on prisoner exchange

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The US has accused Iran of “cruel” lies about an alleged deal between the two countries on a prisoner exchange. A White House official indicated that such announcements could cause pain to the loved ones of those imprisoned, the BBC wrote.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Iran Hossein Amir Abdollahiyan told state media on Sunday that an agreement had been reached in recent days and “if all goes well on the American side, I think we will see a prisoner exchange in the near future.” The Iranian claims were denied by a representative of the White House, who assessed that Iranian officials did not hesitate to “make things up”. He added that similar messages from Tehran could cause pain to the relatives of those imprisoned.

The American side stressed that although the Iranian communiqué was untrue, Washington is committed to the issue of releasing Americans who are serving their sentence in Iran. Siamak Namazi, Emad Szargi and Morad Tahbazy were replaced.

A guard in the women’s ward of Tehran’s Evin PrisonAbedin Taherkenareh/PAP/EPA

Iranian prisons house a large group of foreigners, including dual nationals, who are accused of spying for other countries. Tehran invariably uses it in negotiations with other countries.

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Tehran has been trying for years to free several Iranians who are serving sentences in USAincluding seven Iranian and US dual nationals, two US permanent resident Iranians, and four unregistered Iranian citizens.

Main photo source: Abedin Taherkenareh/PAP/EPA

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