US Denies Reports Iran Poised To Free Four Americans

Marco Green
May 3, 2021

The official quoted by Iranian state TV said a deal made between the U.S. and Tehran involved a prisoner swap in exchange for the release of $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds.

"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.

"Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true", State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain, also told United States media that "there is no agreement" for a prisoner swap. "We raise this with Iran and our interlocutors all the time", Klain said.

The state TV report had said the Biden administration had agreed to release four Iranian prisoners being held in the USA in exchange for four American "spies, '" per Reuters.

A medical assessment carried out for the human rights charity Redress found Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had post-traumatic stress disorder from her treatment in Iranian prisons and the uncertainty about her fate.

United Kingdom officials have played down reports from Iran that Britain has agreed to pay a £400 million debt in order to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

British officials played down the report.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, told The Associated Press that he wasn't aware of any swap in the works, but that his "instinct is to be skeptical at present".

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.

Dominic Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr that Iran had an to release Mrs Zaghari Ratcliffe 'immediately and without condition'
Dominic Raab told the BBC's Andrew Marr that Iran had an obligation to release Mrs Zaghari Ratcliffe 'immediately and without condition'

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was initially detained while on holiday in Iran in 2016, when she was working as a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the news agency and data firm's philanthropic wing.

The British Foreign Office said the country continues to explore options to resolve the case, adding, "We will not comment further as legal discussions are ongoing".

But British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab agreed with the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday morning that the dual national was being "held hostage".

Asked about the money on Sunday, Mr Raab said: "It's not exclusively about that".

"We've said that debt is something we want to have resolved", he said. "I think it amounts to torture, the way she's being treated", he said.

Khamenei did slam remarks made by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a leaked audio recording, saying they were a "big mistake".

"That is not actually the thing that's holding us up at the moment, it's the wider context as we come up to the Iranian presidential elections and the wider elections on the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) which, inevitably from the Iranian perspective, the two are considered in tandem".

Tehran is now negotiating with world powers over both it and the US returning to the nuclear deal, which saw it limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Iran has not held direct negotiations with the US during the talks, however.

"But it feels part of the negotiations rather than the end of them". I think she's being treated in the most abusive, tortuous way.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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