Iranian officials said on Monday that a prisoner swap with the United States was on the agenda in parallel with the ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna.
“This issue is currently on the agenda in parallel with the Vienna talks. But it seems that the US has not made a decision on it. Perhaps it is waiting for the results of the talks,” Reuters quoted Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
No further details were given, but this is the first statement by an Iranian official confirming talks are underway with the US on the matter of prisoners in Vienna.
Representatives from the European Union, Russia, and China are pushing to salvage Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal in return for removing sanctions from the US. The 8th round of talks is underway in Vienna, where Khatibzadeh said that the nuclear talks have not reached a”dead end.”
Mohammad Marandi, a media adviser to the Iranian negotiations team, said that any possible agreement from Vienna talks is utterly dependent on the US decision.
“The US can’t cheat Iran again,” Marandi said, but added it would be too soon to jump into conclusions.
Marandi said they observed some positive signs from the US and Europe in regards to a possible deal but said there is also “a chance of no deal at the end of the day.”
According to Marandi, the government of Iran is looking for removal of sanctions and wants assurance and guarantees that the US will not withdraw again from the deal as it did in 2018.
The then US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal in 2018, and imposed more sanctions on Iran.
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