"There is a desire to exchange all the prisoners (...) without preconditions, but it is the US government that has so far refused to respond," said Ali Rabii, the spokesman, on Sunday. word from the Iranian government, quoted by the semi-official agency Isna.

The Islamic Republic had already stated in December that it was ready for other prisoner exchanges with the United States, following an initial exchange between an American imprisoned in Iran and an Iranian detained on American soil.

"America is more ready than before"

"It now seems that America is more ready than before" to take this type of action, he added, adding: "Washington has been informed of our availability."

Ali Rabii expressed concern over the health of Iranian prisoners held in the United States, saying they were "not treated well".

In March, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit Iran head on, the United States called on Tehran to release all American prisoners. Tehran had called for the same measure in Washington regarding Iranian detainees.

100,000 detainees temporarily released in Iran

Iran is the country most affected by the epidemic in the Middle East, and the United States, on the other hand, has recorded the highest number of deaths linked to the virus in the world.

The Islamic Republic has temporarily released more than 100,000 detainees in stages since March due to the pandemic, according to its justice system.

Relations between Tehran and Washington, enemies of more than 40 years, are at loggerheads since the United States withdrew in 2018 from the international Iranian nuclear agreement, concluded in 2015, before reimposing heavy economic sanctions against Tehran.

Several Iranian-Americans, including businessman Siamak Namazi, his father Bagher, as well as Morad Tahbaz, an environmentalist, are detained in Iran.

Tehran temporarily released U.S. Navy veteran Micheal White on March 19, according to the U.S. Department of State.

With AFP

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