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Washington denies Iran state media report saying prisoner swap agreed

CM 02/05/2021


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Iranian state television said on Sunday that Tehran would free four Americans accused of spying in exchange for four Iranians held in the United States and the release of $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds.However the US government denied that an exchange was in the works.Iranian state television said on Sunday that Tehran would free four Americans accused of spying in exchange for four Iranians held in the United States and the release of $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds.The state TV, quoting an Iranian official, also said British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe would be released once Britain had paid off a debt on military equipment owed to Tehran.A British Foreign Office official played down that report.”Informed source says Biden administration has agreed to release four Iranian prisoners jailed for bypassing US sanctions in exchange for four American ‘spies’,” the Iranian state TV report said on Sunday.”Release of Nazanin Zaghari in exchange for UK’s payment of its 400 million pound debt to Iran has also been finalized. The source also said the Biden administration has agreed to pay Iran $7 billion,” it said.In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price told Reuters: “Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true.””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.”Ron Klain, White House chief of staff, also denied the report. “Unfortunately, that report is untrue. There is no agreement to release these four Americans,” Klain said on CBS “Face the Nation.”Iran and world powers are holding talks to revive the 2015 nuclear accord that Washington abandoned three years ago.Iranian officials told Reuters last month that an interim deal could be a way to gain time for a lasting settlement that involved unfreezing Iranian funds blocked under US sanctions.Tehran and the powers have been meeting in Vienna since early April to work on steps that must be taken, touching on US sanctions and Iran’s alleged breaches of the 2015 deal, to bring Tehran and Washington back into full compliance with the accord.Iran says $20 billion of its oil revenue has been frozen in countries like South Korea, Iraq and China under the US sanctions regime since 2018.US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, said no deal had been reached with Iran in the Vienna talks.”There is still a fair distance to travel to close the remaining gaps. And those gaps are over what sanctions the United States and other countries will roll back. They are over what nuclear restrictions Iran will accept on its program to ensure that they can never get a nuclear weapon.”Sullivan was not asked about prisoner swap or funds release.
ZAGHARI-RATCLIFFEOn the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, British foreign minister Dominic Raab told Times Radio earlier on Sunday : “We recognize the IMS debt should be repaid and we’re looking at arrangements for securing that.”A Foreign Office official later played down the speculation on her release.Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation charity, was freed from house arrest in March at the end of a sentence for seeking to overthrow Iran’s government.An Iranian court sentenced her last month to another year in jail, weeks after she finished the prior five-year sentence, a decision Britain called “inhumane.”She was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 and later convicted of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment.Her family and the foundation, a charity that operates independently of media firm Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters, deny all charges against her and say she was only visiting relatives in Iran.
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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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