A US official has denied Iranian media reports that $7 billion of Iran’s frozen funds will be freed in exchange for the release of three American dual citizens held as hostages.
An unnamed senior State Department official said on Monday that “We have two separate negotiations underway with Iran: one for a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and one on the release of all four US citizens unjustly detained in Iran”, noting that “At this stage, neither negotiation has been successfully concluded”.
“Any reports otherwise, including reports about the transfer of Iranians funds are false. Our partners have not released these restricted funds to Iran, nor has US authorized transfer,” the source said.
Warning of Iran’s propaganda campaign that regularly suggests progress on agreements to prop up its currency, the source said that such reports usually appear whenever the Iranian rial is under strong market pressure, adding that there is “no reason to think any different this time”
Iran’s currency hit a new low against the US dollar in over two months, as nuclear talks remained deadlocked.
“Given the sensitivity, we urge caution in relying on anything other than official" US confirmation on this topic, the source added.
“We are continuing to approach these negotiations with the utmost urgency and urge Iran to do the same. Iran must allow US citizens Baquer (Bagher) and Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz to return home to their loved ones”.
Iran official government news website, IRNA reported Monday that a senior foreign official would visit Iran on Tuesday to conclude a deal to free the frozen funds. The foreign ministry immediately denied the claim.