Free / Agencies - Washington
May 12, 2020
Washington calls on Tehran to retrieve 11 Iranians from the United States
"We have 11 of your countrymen, who are foreigners who have entered (our country) illegally and are trying to return them to your country. Suddenly you say you want to return, well. Why don't you send A plane and we bring them back all at once? "
Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli
[ltr](1/x) @JZarif , after months of stalling @DHSgov as we have been trying to return Sirous Asgari, you suddenly woke up one day recently and say you actually want him back. You SAY you want all of your citizens back. I call B.S.
How about you put your money where your mouth is?[/ltr]
٨:٤٨ ص - ١١ مايو ٢٠٢٠
المعلومات والخصوصية لإعلانات تويتر
٢٧٥ من الأشخاص يتحدثون عن ذلك
He added that Washington has tried for months to return Syros Asgari, an Iranian science professor who was cleared in November of stealing trade secrets, but he is still in US custody and Tehran is delaying his return.
Cuchinelli did not refer in any way to the exchange of prisoners between the two countries, who cut diplomatic ties 40 years ago.
Iranian sources said that the prisoner exchange is under preparation.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier that Tehran had previously expressed its readiness to exchange prisoners some time ago and that the United States had not yet responded.
"I announced in 2018 that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to exchange all American prisoners in Iran with all Iranians imprisoned in the United States or other countries under American pressure," Zarif was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Monday.
"This is what we have been saying since then. The Americans have not responded to us yet," he added.
He called on the two countries to release prisoners due to the outbreak of the Coruna virus.
Iran is the country worst affected by the epidemic in the Middle East, while the United States has the largest number of deaths in the world due to the virus.
Reuters reported last week that Asgari was expected to leave the United States as soon as he gets a medical certificate authorizing him to leave after he was infected with the Coruna virus about two weeks ago.
Iranian sources said that talks have been taking place for a while to exchange prisoners between the two countries and that Washington is negotiating to release Michael White, a former US Navy soldier who has been detained in Iran since 2018. In mid-March, the authorities released him for health reasons but he is still in Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a phone conversation with his Swiss counterpart, Ignazio Casses, and thanked him for the "continuing and constructive role" played by Switzerland as the force that protects Washington's interests in Iran and helps them return American citizens from that country.