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Washington disputes US and Iran prisoner exchange reports

The United States said reports of a prisoner exchange with Iran “are not true”. Iranian state media reported that Tehran has struck deals with British and American officials to release prisoners and thaw funds.

The United States promptly denied news of a prisoner exchange agreement with Iran, after Iranian state media and a pro-Iranian Lebanese TV channel reported the alleged deals.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the reports “are not true”.

British authorities have yet to comment on unconfirmed reports of a separate agreement signed on the possible release of British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

What we know so far

The deals were first reported by a pro-Iranian Lebanese TV channel. Subsequently, Iranian state TV quoted an anonymous official who said that agreements had been signed with American and British officials.

According to reports, Iran has agreed to release four American prisoners in exchange for so many Iranians held by the United States.

The prisoner exchange agreement with Washington also involved thawing $ 7 billion (€ 5.8 billion) in Iranian funds.

In a separate, unconfirmed agreement, the United Kingdom agreed to pay 400 million pounds ($ 553,000; € 460,000) for the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The national duo was sentenced to another year in prison last week on charges of spreading “propaganda”. Zaghari-Ratcliffe recently ended a five-year prison sentence on separate charges.

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