Iran Pres. says prisoner swap with US only humanitarian act

2023-09-19 09:55:23
Iran Pres. says prisoner swap with US only humanitarian act

President Raisi said that the prisoner swap that took place between Iran and the US on Monday was purely done based on humanitarian grounds.

Raisi, who is in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, said this while speaking to major US media on Monday, after Iran and the US struck a prisoner exchange deal negotiated by Doha.

The Iranian president said that the exchange of prisoners between Iran and the United States is a purely humanitarian measure: Absolutely every step [the United States takes] to fulfill its obligations is a confidence booster for us.

Raisi told NBC that the freed funds, which he said were brutally blocked and now in Iran's possession, belong to the Iranian people and will be used to meet their needs.

After two years of high-stakes negotiations, Iran and the United States agreed to release the prisoners as part of a deal that also included the release of billions in Iranian assets illegally frozen in South Korea.

Funds for Iran’s oil and gas exports have been frozen in South Korean bank accounts since 2018 after the administration of then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a key nuclear deal with Iran, further escalating tensions with Tehran. Iran and the United States released 10 prisoners -- five Iranians and five Americans -- after the US government authorized the transfer of $6 billion in frozen Iranian oil assets held in South Korea.

Elsewhere in his speech, Raisi described fostering relations with Iran's neighbors as one of the key policies of his administration, stressing that the main cause of some of the problems in relations between regional countries has been external interference, especially American interference.

The American presence in the region will never create security, just as the normalization of relations with some Arab countries by a Zionist regime will not bring security to that regime, he added.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco signed normalization agreements with Israel brokered by the United States in 2020, drawing condemnation from Palestinians who saw the agreements as a stab in the back of Palestine and the Palestinians.

Raisi then referred to the misunderstanding of the United States and some Western countries in last year's unrest in Iran, which followed the death of a young Iranian girl. The United States and some Western countries wrongly imagined that if they could control some unrest in Iran, they would achieve their goals. However, the Iranian people did not cooperate with the rioters, and the conspiracy of the United States and some European countries to disrupt the order and security of the country failed.

(Source: Agencies)


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