• Sun / 22 April 2018 / 12:21
  • Category: Politics
  • News Code: 97020200983
  • Journalist : 71477

Iran open to prisoner swap if US has "change of attitude," says Foreign Minister

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Tehran (ISNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister emphasized that Iran’s judiciary is an independent organ, saying negotiation on exchange of prisoners is possible but it requires a change in attitude.

In an interview with "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced American attempts to secure the release of U.S. citizens being held in Tehran and said American "demands" are hampering "genuine dialogue."

"The United States needs to approach this from a position of dealing with another sovereign government," said Zarif, "And if that approach led to change, then the United States would see a difference."

According to the report, five Americans are known to have been detained by Iranian authorities that Washington calls for their immediate release.

Asked about the conditions of the imprisoned Americans, Zarif insisted that their health requirements were being "taken care of."

"Our judiciary is an independent organ," Zarif told Brennan, "just what you would say about your courts, and we cannot have an impact on the decisions of our judiciary. But we have been trying to use our influence from a humanitarian perspective. First of all, in order to make sure their health requirements are taken care of as well as to see whether a humanitarian agreement can be reached."

"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. Then you do not leave much room for a genuine dialogue," said Zarif.

Answering to the question whether the Iranians were open to an exchange, like the Obama-era swap, Zarif offered an opening.

"It is a possibility, certainly from a humanitarian perspective, but it requires a change in attitude," said Zarif.

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