The United States has once again denied a claim by the Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian over an agreement regarding the exchange of prisoners.
Amir-Abdollahian, who visited Lebanon on Friday, alleged in a press conference that the Islamic Republic and the United States had agreed to exchange prisoners "13 months ago".
"They introduced an English diplomat lady as a representative. Regarding how to exchange prisoners, an agreement was signed," added Amir-Abdollahian.
However, hours later, the Deputy Spokesperson of the US Ministry of Foreign Affairs said he had no new update to offer in this regard.
“Any comment by Iranian officials …is inaccurate. I would say that most things that come from the Iranian regime I would take with a grain of salt,” Vedant Patel told a press briefing late on Friday.
The Biden administration officials in March also categorically denied Iranian claims that a prisoner swap deal had been reached.
“Statements from Iranian officials that a deal regarding the exchange of prisoners has been reached are another especially cruel lie that only adds to the suffering of their families,” State Department former spokesperson Ned Price told CNN.
A prisoner exchange deal always seemed to be intertwined with a nuclear agreement with the US, but long negotiations in 2021 and 2022 to restore the JCPOA accord limiting Iran's nuclear program failed to reach fruition.
Iran has been accused by Western governments and human rights organizations of detaining Western citizens as hostages to extract concessions.