The Scotsman

Iran ready for prisoner swap over Covid fears


Iran says it is ready for unconditio­nal prisoner swap talks with the United States because of fears that the coronaviru­s could put the lives of the prisoners at risk.

An Iranian news website quoted Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei saying there is a “readiness for all prisoners” to be discussed without condition.

“But the US has refused to answer, so far,” said Rabiei. “We hope that as the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease threatens the lives of Iranian citizens in the US prisons, the US government will prefer lives to politics.”

Rabiei said the US government was responsibl­e for the health of the Iranian prisoners, adding that “it seems that the US has more readiness to bring the situation to an end.”

Last week, US officials said they were making progress in efforts to secure the release of a detained Navy veteran in Iran, but pushed back on Iranian suggestion­s of a swap for the imprisoned Iranian American officials have been trying to deport.

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