No need for talks on prisoners swap between Iran, US: Zarif

MNA – Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that there is no need for any negotiations between Iran and the US about the swap of prisoners, there are no problems in this regard and Iran will hold no talks with Americans.

Making the remarks attending Parliament’s National Security Committee, Zarif said there have been no changes in Iran’s political attitude towards the US and prisoners exchanges will be done by the cooperation of the Foreign Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Iran.

According to Iranian officials, Iran accepted the prisoner exchange not to begin a new phase of negotiations. Rather, it agreed to it merely because of humanitarian issues.

The Iranian FM, elsewhere, referred to the efforts done by the US for extension of Iran’s arms embargo and named the move an illegal action.

He noted that the US is not a member of the JCPOA and can not refer to it for having the embargo extended.

Zarif also addressed the tragic deaths of a number of Afghan migrants near the Iran-Afghanistan border in Early May, saying that the Islamic Republic has always sought to preserve the unity in Afghanistan and reinforcement of its central government and the incident needs more investigations to be clarified.

Zarif and his Afghan counterpart, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, conferred on the ways of cooperation to address Herat incident on Monday. Atmar noted that an Afghan delegation has started investigations on the location of the incident. Zarif, for his part, said an Iranian delegation will also join the probes to carry on the efforts till the main cause of the incident is realized.

The sides also agreed to hold joint meetings in the Iranian city of Mashhad and the Afghan city of Herat to discuss the matter.

On May 1, some claims surfaced in media reports that Iranian border guards had tortured and thrown as many as 57 Afghans into the Hari River (Harirud) in western Herat province to prevent their illegal entry into Iran. The Khaama Press News Agency said at least 23 of them drowned in Harirud.

Tehran has roundly rejected the claims, saying the incident took place on the Afghan side of the border and Iranian forces had no role in the incident.