Iran says US prisoner swap negotiations dependent Washington showing a 'change of attitude'

Iran says US prisoner swap negotiations dependent Washington showing a 'change of attitude'
Iran's foreign minister has said that Tehran is open to discussing prisoner swaps with the US on humanitarian grounds.
2 min read
22 April, 2018

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran is open to prisoner swap negotiations with the US if the Trump administration shows a "change of attitude."

Negotiations are a "possibility certainly from a humanitarian perspective, but it requires a change of attitude," Zarif said in an interview with CBS television's "Face the Nation" set to air on Sunday.

Five Americans are currently held in Tehran, including 81-year-old Baquer Namazi, who is in failing health.

Zarif blasted the US administration for showing "disrespect" toward Iran, a frequent target of President Donald Trump's wrath.

Trump has said he wants to rip up the Iran nuclear deal, and his new National Security Advisor John Bolton has advocated for regime change in Tehran.

"You do not engage in negotiations by exercising disrespect for a country, for its people, for its government, by openly making claims, including this illusion about regime change," Zarif said, according to interview excerpts.

In January 2016, after months of secret talks between senior Iranian and US officials during Barack Obama's administration, Tehran released four Americans in exchange for seven Iranians being released in the United States.

A fifth American, identified as Matthew Trevithick, was also released separately as an "associated goodwill gesture."

According to Zarif, there are "many" Iranian prisoners being held in the United States or elsewhere at America's request, "including a lady who had to give birth in an Australian prison because of a US extradition request."