Sep 18, 2023, 10:52 PM

Raeisi hails Oman, Qatar efforts in Iran-US prisoner swap

Raeisi hails Oman, Qatar efforts in Iran-US prisoner swap

TEHRAN, Sep. 18 (MNA) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says Iran and the United States could have conducted their prisoner swap sooner if Washington had not made miscalculations in its approaches to Tehran.

Raeisi, who is in New York to take part in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, made the remarks while speaking to senior American media managers on Monday after Iran and the US implemented a Doha-mediated prisoner swap deal.

"If the US had not left the negotiating table with miscalculation and had not pinned hope on [last year's] riots, this humanitarian action could have been done much earlier," Ehsan Salehi, the secretary of the government Information Council, quoted Raeisi as saying.

He added that Raeisi hailed efforts by Oman and Qatar to help with the exchange of prisoners between Iran and the US.

According to the official, the president said that Iran has no trust in the US for its violation of treaties but every single step that Washington takes to fulfill its commitments can help build confidence.

After two years of high-stakes negotiations, Iran and the US agreed to free prisoners as part of a deal that also included the release of billions of Iranian assets illegally frozen in South Korea.

The funds, owed to Iran for exports of oil and gas, had been frozen in South Korean bank accounts since 2018 after the administration of then-President Donald Trump pulled the US from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, further aggravating tensions with Tehran.

On Monday, Iran and the US freed 10 prisoners -- five Iranians and five Americans -- after the US government unblocked the transfer of $6 billion in frozen Iranian oil funds held in South Korea.

The plane carrying two of the five released Iranians landed in Tehran on Monday evening. Mehrdad Moein Ansari and Reza Sarhangpour arrived in Tehran after departing from the Qatari capital of Doha earlier in the day.

The three other released Iranians are not returning to Iran, with two staying in the US and one going to a third country to join his family.

Five American prisoners, who were flown out of Iran earlier in the day as part of the swap deal, also left mediator Qatar for the United States. 

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Mohammad Reza Farzin on Monday confirmed that the Islamic Republic’s funds were transferred to Iranian bank accounts in Qatar.

He said 5.573 billion euros had been deposited into the accounts of six Iranian banks in Qatar’s Al Ahli and Al Dukhan banks.


News ID 206220


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