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U.S. State Department denies reports of prisoner swap with Iran (Updated)

file photo: governors meeting at the iaea headquarters in vienna
file photo

he U.S. State Department on Sunday denied reports of a prisoner swap with Iran after Tehran confirmed a Lebanese television report that an exchange was in the works.

“Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told Reuters. “As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families.”

Earlier it was reported that Iran would free four Americans accused of spying in exchange for four Iranians held in the United States and the release of $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds, a pro-Iranian Lebanese TV channel reported on Sunday, citing unnamed Iranian officials.

Iranian state television, citing an official, confirmed the Al Mayadeen report.

Iran and world powers are holding talks to revive the 2015 nuclear accord that Washington abandoned three years ago.

Iranian officials told Reuters last month that an interim deal could be a way to gain time for a lasting settlement that involved unfreezing Iranian funds blocked under U.S. sanctions.

Tehran and the powers have been meeting in Vienna since early April to work on steps that must be taken, touching on U.S. sanctions and Iran’s alleged breaches of the 2015 deal, to bring Tehran and Washington back into full compliance with the accord.

Iran says $20 billion of its oil revenue has been frozen in countries like South Korea, Iraq and China under the U.S. sanctions regime since 2018.

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