Al-Jazeera Net-Tehran

A former Iranian diplomat commented that his country is ready to exchange prisoners with America by saying that there is no objection for Tehran to restore relations with Washington when the latter gives up its policies, while some circles talk about the intersection of the interests of the two sides on the Iraqi and Lebanese arenas.

On Sunday, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabei said that his country was ready to exchange all Iranian and American prisoners through dialogue and without preconditions, adding that Washington had avoided responding to the Iranian offer.

While Rabiei said in a press statement that the US administration "was informed of our readiness to exchange prisoners and there is no need for mediation", he held Washington responsible for the health and safety of the Iranians detained in light of the Corona virus.

The announcement of the Iranian initiative to exchange prisoners with the United States comes five days after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi confirmed the existence of communication channels between the two sides to resolve the frictions between the Iranian and American navies in the Gulf waters.

Previous experiences

For his part, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi attributed the reason for the Iranian offer, this time without preconditions, to the success of previous deals between Tehran and Western countries - including the United States and France - when they were launched without any restrictions or conditions.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, Moussaoui said that Tehran is very keen on the safety of its citizens and scientists and fears for them because of the outbreak of the Corona virus in the United States, explaining that he touched signs to reduce escalation between Washington and Tehran recently.

He pointed out that the current circumstances cannot tolerate further escalation between Iran and America in light of the spread of the Corona virus, adding that the US administration urgently needs to reduce tension with Iran, especially in light of the depletion of Corona's pandemic of its energies and the developments of its relations with some Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia.

Tweet guide

Mousavi said that the ground is ready to complete a new prison exchange deal between his country and the United States, stressing that it is not excluded that some regional capitals - especially Muscat and Doha - have entered the mediation line again to reduce tension in the Gulf waters.

On the tweet of the Iranian guide, Ali Khamenei, regarding the reconciliation of Hassan bin Ali bin Abi Talib with the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan, Mousavi said that his country does not reject the principle of resolving differences and reducing tension if there is a serious will on the opposite side, and that he had previously negotiated with the six-party group on Its nuclear program, but it is Washington that has broken its pledges.

Khamenei had posted a tweet on Twitter in which he said that he believed that Hassan bin Ali was the bravest figure in the history of Islam, where he sacrificed himself and his place among his close companions for the sake of real interest, and he was subject to reconciliation so that he could safeguard Islam, protect the Qur’an and guide future generations.

The former Iranian diplomat added that there is no objection to his country in restoring relations with the United States when the latter abandoned its "hostile policies" towards the Iranian people, stressing that there is no red line for Tehran except the Israeli entity, which it does not recognize at all.

He concluded by saying that the Iranian guide's tweet may bear messages and indications to some external parties, as Tehran has often given opportunities to some of its enemies before, and the parties concerned should take advantage of them before it is too late.


Intersection of interests

Observers in Iran are of the opinion that exchanging the former American military, Michael White, with the Iranian academic, Cyrus Askari, will form the most prominent title for any future prisoner exchange deal between Washington and Tehran.

Last December, the United States released Dr. Irani, a stem cell specialist, Masoud Soleimani, who has been detained since 2018 on charges of circumventing US sanctions, in exchange for Iran's release of an American researcher of Chinese origin, Xu Wang, after he was arrested in 2017 on charges of espionage and sentenced to imprisonment 10 years.

As for academic and researcher on political affairs Hadi Afqihi, he reads this shift in the context of Tehran's humanitarian principles. 

Afqihi said in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net that the Iranian Ministry of Security and Revolutionary Guards arrested spies for the American side inside the country, accusing Washington of arresting Iranian scientists with fake pretexts, some of whom were acquitted in American courts.

He sees an intersection of Iranian and American interests on the Iraqi and Lebanese arenas, which was reflected in the agreement of the two sides to choose the prime ministers of the two countries, explaining that the Iranian initiative came from a strong position, especially after its launching a military satellite that monitors all American goals in the region from space.

It is noteworthy that the tension between Iran and the United States escalated after the withdrawal of US President Donald Trump in May 2018 from the Iranian nuclear agreement concluded in 2015 and imposed sanctions on many Iranian sectors and those cooperating with them.