Thursday, February 8, 2018

Report: Iran Has Rebuffed Multiple US Attempts to Initiate Prisoner Release Talks

Charles Russell, Washington Free Beacon; original article contains links; see also (1)

Rouhani image from article
The White House has secretly been reaching out to Iran since December in an attempt to create a direct channel to negotiate the release of prisoners held by both countries, according to a new report. ...

The outreach began during an international meeting in Vienna that was convened to discuss the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon at the time sought Iranian officials to discuss the issue of foreign detainees, including at least four American citizens currently in Iranian detention.

"We look for every opportunity we can to bring attention to the fact that we would like to see American prisoners held unjustly in Iran released and that is done through a variety of mechanisms," said Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. ...

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday called "for all Americans who are being held in Iran and being held unjustly to be returned to the United States," adding "if they want to be respected by the world," they should release the American prisoners.

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