Biden Administration Denies Report of Prisoner Swap with Iran

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    Biden Administration Denies Report of Prisoner Swap with Iran

    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacts after a meeting with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in Caracas, Venezuela, November 5, 2020. (Fausto Torrealba/Reuters)

    The Biden administration denied a report from Iranian state TV on Sunday that the U.S. and U.K. agreed to exchange billions of dollars for American and British prisoners held in Iran.

    State TV quoted an anonymous Iranian government official laying out the terms of the alleged deal on Sunday.

    “The Americans accepted to pay $7 billion and swap four Iranians who were active in bypassing sanctions for four American spies who have served part of their sentences,” the official said in comments quoted in on-screen crawl, translated by the Associated Press.

    “Unfortunately that report is untrue there is no agreement to release these four Americans,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain told CBS’s Face the Nation immediately following the report.

    The U.S. State Department also denied the claim of a prisoner swap.

    “Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families.”

    Iran is currently holding four known American prisoners: Baquer and Siamak Namazi; Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi; and conservationist Morad Tahbaz. It is unclear which Iranian citizens held in the U.S. would be returned to Iran as part of the alleged deal.

    The alleged prisoner swap would also see the U.K. pay 400 million pounds in exchange for the release of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a former employee at the Thompson Reuters Foundation.

    Send a tip to the news team at NR.

    Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

    Published at Sun, 02 May 2021 15:19:26 +0000

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