Iran’s foreign ministry says there has been indirect negotiations with Washington over the issue of a prisoner exchange because Tehran looks at the issue from a “humanitarian viewpoint”.
Regarding the role of some countries, including Oman, the foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Tuesday that “Tehran appreciates the special efforts of the Sultanate of Oman in this regard.”
NBC News reported last week that indirect negotiations were taking place over releasing US hostages in Iran possibly in exchange for $7 billion of Iran’s money frozen by South Korean banks.
Kanaani also confirmed that “the exchange of prisoners was taking place through intermediaries; but due to Washington’s false promises it did not take place.”
“Iranian citizens imprisoned in the United States have often been detained on baseless accusations of the US government, claiming they wanted to bypass sanctions,” added Kanaani.
The NBC report quoted four sources familiar with the matter as saying that Qatar and Britain are easing the talks as intermediaries.
“The negotiations have made progress, but it remains unclear if a final agreement will be reached,” one of the sources said.
This came as nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers have been stalled for several months, as the United States and its European allies have imposed new sanctions against the clerical regime.
Iran has been arbitrarily arresting Western nationals for decades and using them as bargaining chips against their government, according to UN experts and international human rights organization.