Report of US Outreach on Prisoners Downplayed

Report of US Outreach on Prisoners Downplayed

An Iranian politician dismissed as “old news” on Thursday a report in the western news media that Washington had reached out to Tehran in December to establish back-channel talks to negotiate the release of prisoners held by both sides. 
Hamidreza Taraqi, a member of the Islamic Coalition Party, said he had given interviews as far back as July to Iranian news outlets about similar attempts by US President Donald Trump’s administration to arrange secret talks on prisoners using intermediaries from Oman and Europe, the New York Times reported. 
But Taraqi said Iran had rejected the requests then and would never enter into discussions with the Trump administration.
“In the nuclear deal, they have shown themselves as dishonest, so what is the use of new talks anyway?” he said.
Taraqi refused to provide more details about the prisoners the Trump administration had been seeking to have released, but he said Iranian officials had been contacted on numerous occasions.
“They had diplomats from Oman coming to the [Iranian] island of Kish,” Taraqi said. “They asked European politicians to convey this message to our Foreign Ministry officials. Things like that.”


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