Iran Sends US List of Names for Possible Prisoner Swap

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi says some twenty Iranian people are jailed in various countries in the world on the false charge of bypassing the US sanctions, and Iran has proposed a list to the US to have them released.

Addressing a press conference in Tehran on Monday, Mousavi said “some twenty people” are imprisoned over the “baseless” accusations of bypassing the US’ unilateral sanctions on Iran, and the country is pursuing their release.

He announced that the country has sent a list of names it is demanding in a prisoner swap with the United States and other Western nations.

The spokesman said the detainees have been jailed on delusional and illegal charges, and must be released.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had noted that he hopes to hear “good news soon” about the release of Iranian scientist professor Masoud Soleimani, jailed in the US.

US federal authorities arrested Soleimani last year charges that he had violated trade sanctions by trying to have biological material brought to Iran.

The US recently “deported” an Iranian woman prisoner charged with circumvention of Washington’s sanctions against Tehran in what seemed to be part a new prisoner exchange deal between Iran and the US.

Negar Ghodskani, 40, was indicted in 2015 in Minnesota and arrested in June 2017 in Australia at the US’ request on charge of violating the American sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The “deportation” coincided with the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to New York, where he attended the 74th annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, and that raised the possibility the release of Ghodskani has been part of a prison swap deal between Iran and the US, similar to the 2016 exchange of prisoners.

President Hassan Rouhani also raised the issue of a prisoner swap with the US during his press conference in New York in September, saying that Iran expected the US to reciprocate release of Lebanese-American “spy” Nizar Zakka in June, but Americans just appreciated the move.

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