Iran open to further prisoner swaps -foreign minister

ROME (Reuters) - Iran is ready to engage in further prisoner swaps after last week exchanging a jailed British-Australian academic with three Iranians detained abroad, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

Reuters December 04, 2020 00:11:33 IST
Iran open to further prisoner swaps -foreign minister

Iran open to further prisoner swaps foreign minister

ROME (Reuters) - Iran is ready to engage in further prisoner swaps after last week exchanging a jailed British-Australian academic with three Iranians detained abroad, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

"We can always engage in that, it is in the interests of everybody," Zarif told an Italian diplomatic conference speaking via video-link. "Iran is ready to reciprocate. We can do it tomorrow. We can also do it today."

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a specialist in Middle East politics at the University of Melbourne, had been serving a 10-year sentence for alleged espionage when she was freed on Nov. 25. At the same time, Thailand released three Iranians from its prisons.

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals in recent years, mostly on espionage charges. Rights activists have accused Iran of using them as bargaining chips, something Tehran denies.

Zarif said there were lots of Iranians held "illegally" in U.S., European and African prisons.

Asked if the world could expect more swaps, he said: "I can tell you categorically that yes we can. In fact there are several proposals by Iran on the table. ... I have suggested a global exchange of Iranian prisoners."

He did not give any details.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Jon Boyle and Alexandra Hudson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.