March 7, 2022
Tehran says there has been significant progress in talks with the United States on an agreement to swap prisoners.
Iran is holding a number of dual nationals, including several Iranian-Americans, amid accusations by rights activists and others that Tehran is using the detainees to extract concessions from other countries.
“These negotiations have progressed significantly and we are waiting for them to be summed up,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told a news conference on March 7.
Iran and the United States have exchanged prisoners in the past, including in June 2020, when Washington freed Iranian scientist Majid Taheri, detained for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, as Tehran set free U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, who had been sentenced to 13 years in prison for allegedly insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting private information online.
According to a review by the Voice of America’s Persian Service of U.S. Justice Department databases, 16 Iranians are currently in U.S. detention or are on supervised pretrial release for proven or alleged federal crimes.