Middle East

Iran denies prisoner swap deal with US

Tehran says it is ready for dialogue with Saudi Arabia

Siham al-Khouly   | 03.05.2021
Iran denies prisoner swap deal with US


Iran on Monday denied reports about reaching a prisoner swap deal with the United States.

Iranian media earlier reported that Tehran and Washington reached a prisoner swap agreement in exchange for releasing $7 billion of frozen Iranian oil funds by the US.

“The issue of prisoners was always on the Iranian agenda but what is said over a deal for prisoners exchange is not confirmed by any informed sources,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said in statements cited by the official news agency IRNA.

Meanwhile, Khatibzadeh said Iran is "ready for dialogue on any level with the neighboring countries including Saudi Arabia”.

"Changing language of discourse contributes to easing tension [between Tehran and Riyadh] but it won't lead to a practical result unless it contributes to changing behavior," he said.

Last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hinted that his country looks to have good and distinguished relations with Iran.

"We want Iran to be prosperous and to have exchanged interests between each other," bin Salman said. He added that Saudi Arabia's problem with Iran has something to do with its "negative behaviors, including its nuclear program, supporting the lawless militia in some regional countries and its ballistic missiles program."

Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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