Iran-US prisoner swap expected next week

Iran-US prisoner swap expected next week
A+ A-
Long-awaited exchange to coincide with U.N. General Assembly session.

Sources familiar with the private deliberations claim that a long-awaited prisoner exchange between Iran and the United States will probably occur on September 18, as reported by Iran's Mehr News Agency, citing western sources.

In his weekly press briefing, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kan'ani expressed optimism that the prisoner swap would occur soon.

Meanwhile, a senior Iranian business owner revealed Iran will soon have access to another portion of its overseas assets frozen by U.S. sanctions.

The remarks came after media reports that the U.S. has approved the transfer of some $6 billion in Iranian funds from Switzerland to Qatar, where the Central Bank of Iran can access them to purchase non-sanctioned goods.

The funds from six bank accounts in Qatar had been inaccessible in South Korea for nearly five years because of sanctions. Iran secured their release as part of a prisoner swap deal with the U.S.

Last month, following reports of the released funds in South Korea, Iranian officials said Tehran had no more blocked assets abroad.

A senior Iranian diplomat said in late August that Iran can now access tens of billions of dollars in funds in banks in countries such as Iraq and China.

Iran has more than $10 billion in the Trade Bank of Iraq, deposited to settle payments for Iranian gas and electricity imports.