No direct talks between Iran, US for prisoner swap: spox

TEHRAN, Jun. 07 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that there have been no direct talks between Iran and the US to exchange prisoners.

Referring to the recent Iran-US prisoner swap, Mousavi said, “The swap was implemented due to humanitarian reasons. The US has held a number of our citizens hostage claiming they have violated US sanctions.”

Noting that US sanctions are illegal and baseless, Mousavi maintained, “During this time with the help of the Swiss government, we have tried our best to utilize all our resources.”

“The Swiss government was responsible for the negotiations and there were no direct talks between Iran and the US,” he added.

“If the Swiss government continues to cooperate, we are ready to repatriate the rest of the Iranians who are in US custody,” he said, adding, “We do not care much about the internal affairs of the US. What is important for Iran is the actions of various US governments, which, unfortunately, have not been able to establish trust between the two countries.”

“US left the negotiating table and violated its obligations under UN Resolution 2231, and we do not think that there will be any change if trump wins the upcoming election or not,” Mousavi said.

Other Iranian authorities have also dismissed claims by the United States administration that a recent prisoner swap between Washington and Tehran was the outcome of successful negotiations between the two sides.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said on Friday that US President Donald Trump is trying to use the release of American national Michael White from Iranian custody as a political gimmick as he seeks to divert public attention from his numerous failures.

Officials in the US administration have claimed that it was Trump who got the release of White from Iran.

Shamkhani, however, dismissed those claims, saying the US president wants to cover up his failures in dealing with various crises, including the new coronavirus pandemic and the spread of anti-racism protests across the US.

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