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Iran’s state-run TV network reports that Tehran had negotiated an agreement with the U.S. and Great Britain to release hostages in exchange for unfreezing billions of dollars in Iranian assets.
“The Americans accepted to pay $7 billion and swap four Iranians who were active in bypassing sanctions for four American spies who have served part of their sentences,” state TV said.
A state department spokesman, Ned Price, immediately shot down the report.
“Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true,” Price said. “As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families.”
This report is entirely believable given the history of hostage negotiations with Iran. When the Iran nuclear deal was negotiated during the Obama administration, Tehran publicly agreed to release several Americans in exchange for lifting some sanctions. Later we learned, Obama had sweetened the deal by unfreezing 400 million dollars in Iranian assets.