Iran says it rules out US prisoner release as nuclear talks precondition

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Iran on Monday ruled out any US preconditions for reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, including the release of American prisoners held by the Islamic Republic.

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“Iran has never accepted any preconditions by the United States... The US official’s comments on the release of US prisoners in Iran is for domestic use,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference.

The lead US nuclear negotiator told Reuters on Sunday the United States was unlikely to strike an agreement with Iran to revive the nuclear pact unless Tehran released four US citizens Washington claims it is holding hostage.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA said earlier on Monday that setting such preconditions would slow down indirect talks between Tehran and Washington to secure the deal.

Iran is currently in talks in Vienna with world powers to revive the 2015 deal that the US unilaterally left during Donald Trump’s presidency in 2018.

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