The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman has confirmed media reports about an exchange of message between Tehran and Washington over a prisoner swap.
“The Swiss Embassy in Iran as well as some foreign ministers have given Tehran messages suggesting the American side is interested in resolving this humanitarian issue,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said, referring to the issue of prisoners.
“We have also sent them, through the same channels, our message indicating a proposal put forward by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his trip to the United Nations two years ago still holds,” the spokesman noted in his weekly press briefing on Monday.
“The proposal suggests all Iranian inmates [being held in the United States] be freed in return for American prisoners behind bars in Iran,” he said.
He expressed concern over the situation of Iranian inmates kept in US jails, and said the condition of the Iranians imprisoned in the United States has always been one of the priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Many of our prisoners are in deplorable conditions and specifically subject to unfair treatment in the United States,” he noted.
He underlined many Iranian nationals are incarcerated in the United States for no good reason.
“They put handcuffs and shackles on an Iranian professor on pointless pretexts and keep him in solitary confinement. They condemn another Iranian prisoner on pointless pretexts. That inmate serves his time, and they defiantly keep him behind bars until his jail term ends,” he explained.
“There are many other examples like this. Naturally, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot [sit idly by and] see such blatant injustice takes place, especially with regards to Iranian nationals,” he said.
Khatibzadeh said the unfair treatment of Iranian prisoners by the US government is the legacy of the administration of former US President Donald Trump.
“This is the wicked heritage left behind for the current US administration by the previous one. We still can’t see the incumbent US administration distancing itself from this wicked heritage,” he added.