Citing virus, Iran says it’s ready for prisoner swap with US

TEHRAN (HRNW) — Iran says it is ready for unconditional prisoner swap talks with the United States because of fears that the coronavirus could put the lives of the prisoners at risk, Iranian media reported Sunday.

An Iranian news website,, quoted Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei as saying there is a “readiness for all prisoners” to be discussed without condition.

“But the U.S. has refused to answer, so far,” said Rabiei. “We hope that as the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease threatens the lives of Iranian citizens in the U.S. prisons, the U.S. government eventually will prefer lives to politics.”

Rabiei said Iran considers the U.S. government responsible for the health of the Iranian prisoners, adding that “it seems that the U.S. has more readiness to bring the situation to an end.”

Rabiei did not elaborate but Iranian media in recent months said there are several Iranians in U.S. custody, including Sirous Asgari, a 60-year-old university professor.

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