Iran Says US Not Prepared for Prisoner Exchange

A staff removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives of Unites States, Iran, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union during the Iran nuclear talks at Austria International Centre in Vienna, Austria on July 14, 2015.‌ / Photo by Carlos Barria, Getty Images

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei says Tehran has expressed its preparedness for a full prisoner swap with the United States, but the new US administration does not seem to be ready for that.

“There is nothing new [regarding a prisoner swap with the US]. The Foreign Minister previously stated Iran’s position. We are ready to exchange all prisoners, and if it has not happened so far, it is due to the unpreparedness of the United States,” Rabiei said in a weekly press conference on Tuesday.

He said the two sides can decide on this.

“We have many Iranians around the world who have been imprisoned upon the US order. Of course, decisions and actions are being taken in this regard, but we believe that, as Mr [Mohammad Javad] Zarif said, we can talk about all those who have been imprisoned and solve the problem all at once,” he added.

US Wriggling Out of Returning to JCPOA

Asked about the US officials’ call for Iran’s return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, Rabiei said “the US does not seem to be in a position to set condition for the implementation of its own international commitments.”

“Unlike the US which wriggles out of returning to the JCPOA, Iran is ready to honour all its commitments along with the US and other JCPOA parties as soon as possible,” he noted.

“Based on the definite policy declared by the Supreme Leader, the only way to revive the JCPOA is the lifting of sanctions and the return of all parties to the full implementation of their commitments,” he stressed.

“If the US is thinking of any other way, it is just wasting the valuable time that could be used for advancing the interests of both countries. I believe the US administration will eventually, in the near future, discern the right policy,” he added.


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