'Iran expects U.S. to free Iranians in return for Sarah Shourd'

TEHRAN, Sept. 18 (MNA) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran naturally expects the U.S. to free a number of Iranians being held unjustly in this country in return for the release of Sarah Shourd.

Ahmadinejad made the remarks in an interview with Iranian TV late on Friday.

Sarah Shourd, one of the three U.S. citizens who had been detained in Iran for more than a year on espionage charges, was released from prison on a bail of $500,000 on Tuesday.

Commenting on her release, Ahmadinejad said, “The Iranian and Islamic culture offers special respect to women”.

In addition, the president noted the Omani Sultan has announced he will try to secure the release of Iranian nationals from U.S. prisons.

He added the Islamic Republic has submitted a list of imprisoned Iranians to Oman.

‘Sanctions not to harm Iran’s economy’

Elsewhere in his talks, Ahmadinejad said sanctions would not harm the national economy.

The issuance of anti-Iran resolutions is simply intended to put the Iranian nation under psychological pressure, he commented.

The president went on to say that Iran welcomes talks with the West over its nuclear program but only based on justice.

‘Subsidy reform plan to be implemented soon’

Commenting on the domestic affairs, the president said the subsidy reform plan will be implemented in the second half of the Iranian calendar year which started on March 21.

Ahmadinejad also assured people that the government will compensate for price rises and counter its effects.

EP/PA
END
MNA

News Code 41943

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