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US rejects deal with Iran on prisoner exchange

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amiraptolahian previously said: “A few days ago we reached an agreement with the United States on the exchange of prisoners.” Exchange is possible in the next few days. The two states have been enemies of each other for decades.

Iran continues to detain foreigners on charges of espionage or violating national security. Human rights activists criticize the procedures, which are often negotiated behind closed doors, as unfair. The Islamic Republic has also been accused of holding foreigners hostage. A US State Department spokesman insisted: “We are working tirelessly to secure the release of three Americans wrongfully detained in Iran.”

One of the best-known American detainees in Iran is businessman Siamak Namasi, who holds dual citizenship. The 51-year-old was jailed with his father in 2015 and later sentenced to 10 years for espionage. Bagar Namasi is slated to release in 2022 under a deal with the US. However, his son is still in the notorious Evin prison in the capital, Tehran.