Iran angles for prisoner swap deal with US

Al-Monitor – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi announced that Tehran has submitted to Washington a list of Iranian nationals held in US prisons, calling for their return home. “If there is a will [on the American side], we are hoping for the release of those individuals,” he told reporters at an Oct. 21 press briefing in Tehran.

According to Mousavi, there are currently 20 Iranians serving time in the United States relating to the circumvention of US sanctions against Iran. Those charges, the Iranian spokesman dismissed as “baseless,” describing the detentions as “hostage taking.” Mousavi also noted that Iran has officially protested to the governments that have accepted US extradition requests.

Mousavi did not specify those governments. But most recently, Australian authorities handed over Iranian national Negar Ghodskani to the United States over violating American sanctions on the exportation of electronics to Iran. Ghodskani had already spent 27 months in Australian custody. The period was equal to the jail term a Minnesota court handed to her. She was thus ordered released and deported back to Iran in late September, a few weeks after landing in the United States.

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