There is no agreement between the United States and Iran on an exchange of prisoners and the ongoing indirect talks to revive the nuclear deal are separate from any discussions about the potential release of hostages, the White House said on Tuesday.
“Discussions to bring home Americans who are held in Iran are something that is raised at the highest level through indirect discussions, and they are separate from the nuclear discussions in Vienna,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
“Reports over the weekend than an agreement had been reached to exchange prisoners was not true. We always raise this issue but there is no agreement at this time on the release of these four Americans,” she added.
Iranian state media carried on Sunday a report citing Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen as saying a deal was reached between Tehran and Washington to release four American detained in Iran in exchange for releasing four Iranians detained in the US and releasing $7 billion of Iran’s frozen funds under US sanctions.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh later denied on Monday reports of the agreement.
Iran and world powers are holding talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that the US abandoned in 2018 under Donald Trump’s presidency.