01:10 GMT31 October 2020
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    US State Department Acting Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the United States has raised the issue of Iran releasing American prisoners during the negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has raised the issue of Iran releasing American prisoners during the negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program, US State Department Acting Spokesperson Marie Harf stated in a press briefing on Wednesday.

    “The Secretary [Secretary of State John Kerry] has raised concerns about missing and detained US citizens on the sidelines of the nuclear talks [between US and Iran],” Harf said. “He has raised this directly to Iran, and pushed for them to come home.”

    Harf explained, however, that the Americans held by Iran should be allowed to return home independent of the US-Iran nuclear talks.

    “We will keep pushing until we get them home,” Harf said. “We push their cases every single opportunity we get the chance.”

    Harf concluded that the US State Department wants to make sure the fate of trapped Americans in Iran is not tied to the outcome of a US-Iran nuclear deal.

    “We have to take every opportunity to see if we can resolve this diplomatically,” Harf said.

    More than 225,000 people are locked up in Iran and that 2.9 percent of those prisoners are foreign prisoners, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies.


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