Iran is prepared for more prisoner exchanges after swapping a jailed British-Australian academic for three Iranians detained abroad last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.
“We can always engage in that, it is in the interests of everybody,” Zarif told an Italian diplomatic conference via video link on December 3.
“Iran is ready to reciprocate. We can do it tomorrow. We can also do it today,” he added.
Zarif also urged the United States to prove its goodwill by returning to a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that U.S. President Donald Trump walked out of in 2018.
Zarif said that if Washington honored its original commitments, Tehran would show full compliance with the pact.
Iran on November 25 released detained British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was serving a 10-year prison sentence for spying, in exchange for three Iranians held abroad.
Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic studies at Melbourne University, was sent to Tehran’s Evin prison in September 2018 on widely criticized espionage charges.
International pressure on Iran to secure her release had grown in recent months following reports that her health was deteriorating in solitary confinement and that she had been transferred to Qarchak prison, east of Tehran.