Iran: Zarif's Prisoner Swap Proposal Was Directed at U.S, Not Britain
Abbas Mousavi, the spokesperson for Iran’s ministry of foreign affairs said on Friday that the prisoner swap proposal made by Foreign Minister Zarif was regarding Iranian and American prisoners, and it does not include Britain.
Mousavi said: “What the foreign minister proposed in New York was about Iranian prisoners in the United States or those arrested in other countries by U.S request with some American criminals in Iran, and that proposal was not directed and Britain, because the situation in the case that the British officials are interested in (Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe) is completely different, and Britain is responsible for that.”
However, on Wednesday, Mohammad Javad Zarif said in New York that Nazanin Zaghari, who is incarcerated in Iran for “espionage”, can be swapped with other prisoners. He expressed his unhappiness with her case and immediately mentioned an Iranian woman who has been incarcerated in Australia for what he described as “buying and selling equipment for an Iranian media company”. But Zarif changed his tune the next day and claimed that what he meant by “prisoner swap” was between Iran and the U.S, therefore it will not include Iran.
Jeremy Hunt, the foreign minister of Britain also denied the possibility of a prisoner swap for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and the Iranian prisoner in Australia. He told the Telegraph that the cases are very different, and that what is happening in Iran is unacceptable.
The Islamic Republic is accused of arresting dual citizens for leverage against Western countries.