Speaker: Practical Ways Can Free Post's Journalist

Speaker: Practical Ways Can Free Post's Journalist Speaker: Practical Ways Can Free Post's Journalist

The Majlis speaker said there were "practical ways" to free Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post's correspondent in Tehran who has been tried on espionage charges.

Ali Larijani, speaking in an interview with NPR aired on Friday, was asked whether there was a way for Rezaian and other Iranian-Americans held in Iran to be freed, Reuters reported.

"There are practical ways of course. For example, there is a number of Iranians in prison here (in the United States) definitely for matters of this sort; one can come up with solutions. I think your politicians know about those ways," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

When the interviewer asked whether he was referring to a prisoner exchange, Larijani replied, "That's one way. There are other ways that the judiciary systems of the two countries can come up with. It is the judiciary that has to decide about it."

Larijani was interviewed in New York, where he was attending a conference of parliamentary speakers. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was not going to respond to every comment by Iranian officials on the issue.

"We've raised our concerns over the detained and missing US citizens at a variety of levels with Iranian officials and will continue to do so," Kirby said.

A lawyer for Rezaian, who was arrested over a year ago, was quoted by Iranian media on Aug. 10 as saying that a verdict in his trial could be issued within a week, though so far no verdict has been announced. Rezaian, 39, was born in California and holds dual US and Iranian citizenship.

US President Barack Obama has called on Tehran to release Rezaian and two other detained Iranian-Americans - Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati - and to help find Robert Levinson, an American who reportedly disappeared in Iran more than eight years ago. Iran, which does not recognize dual citizenship, says the detainees must serve their sentences handed down over security charges and says it has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing US citizen.  

Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic ties since the1979 Islamic Revolution.