Iran says ready for full prisoner exchange with the US without preconditions

Iran is ready for a full prisoner exchange with the United States, the regime spokesman has been quoted as saying, adding that Washington has yet to respond to Iran’s call for a prisoner swap.

“We are ready to exchange Iranian and American prisoners and we are prepared to discuss this issue but Americans have not responded yet,” Ali Rabiei said, according to Khabaronline news website on Sunday.

“We are worried about the safety and health of Iranians in jail… We hold America responsible for Iranians’ safety amid the new coronavirus outbreak,” Khabaronline quoted Rabiei as saying.

It is not clear exactly how many Americans Iran may hold, but they include father and son Baquer and Siamak Namazi. Several dozen Iranians are being held in US prisons, many of them for breaking sanctions.

Both countries have called for the release of prisoners because of the new coronavirus outbreak. Iran is the worst hit country in the Middle East, while the United States has reported the highest number of deaths worldwide from the virus.

Officially, Iran has recorded approximately 106,000 cases and registered 6,600 deaths, though public health experts estimate the real toll to be significantly higher.

Tehran and Washington cut diplomatic relations shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution after a group of Muslim terrorists who supported the mullahs seized the US embassy and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.