Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari affirmed his country’s readiness to exchange prisoners with the United States, noting that he could take this task upon himself in an attempt to ease the tension and escalation between the two countries after Washington announced an end to the extension of oil exemptions with recall of its withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.
“We are ready to do this and I have the necessary powers,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement during a meeting at the Asia Society in New York.
Zarif explained that six months ago, he was informed by representatives of the US administration, Donald Trump, of Iran’s willingness to work on an agreement on the subject of prisoner exchange, but has not yet received any response to this proposal.
“All these people are being held in US prisons, and we consider the charges against them are false, while the United States says false accusations have been attributed to detainees in Iranian prisons,” Zarif said.
The Iranian Foreign Minister: “Let us not discuss this matter, we carry out the exchange process, and as a foreign minister, I can accomplish this humanitarian issue.”
While Zarif was calling for a deal in New York, President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran said at the same time that “negotiations are possible but on the condition of mutual respect and lifting the pressure.” He said: “Some believe that America is ready for negotiations and Iran does not want it, it is not.”