Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi. Financial Tribune.

August 8, 2017

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Iran and Britain have not discussed a prisoner exchange deal during the recent visit of a high-ranking British delegation to Iran.

The delegation, led by UK’s Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt, was in Iran to attend the inauguration ceremony for reelected President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday.

British media reported before the trip that Burt was going to raise the cases of dual Iranian-British nationals detained in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

“There have been no talks on a prisoner exchange [deal] between Iran and the UK,” IRNA quoted Qasemi as saying in a regular press briefing on Monday.

Burt wrote in a Twitter post on Sunday he had discussed “consular cases” with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a meeting on the same day.

Iran does not recognize dual nationality.

Burt also wrote in a separate post that he had met the family of Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Tehran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at the airport as she tried to leave Tehran after a visit, while working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The woman, 38, was sentenced to five years in prison last fall on the charge of assisting efforts at “soft toppling” of Iran’s government.

Kamal Foroughi, imprisoned for espionage, and Roya Nobakht, jailed for anti-government cyber activities, are other British-Iranian nationals being held in Iran.

Financial Tribune

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