Qatar hopes recent prisoner swap deal between with US will pave way for revival of nuclear deal

Qatar hopes recent prisoner swap deal between with US will pave way for revival of nuclear deal

Doha plays key role in facilitating talks between Tehran, Washington, says Qatari top diplomat

By Zehra Nur Duz

Qatari prime minister and foreign minister expressed hope Friday that the recent agreement between Tehran and Washington concerning a prisoner release could be a first step toward reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, according to Iranian local media.

Qatar believes in resolving disputes through peaceful means and dialogue, the semi-official Mehr News Agency cited Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as saying.

Al Thani said his country played an important role in facilitating dialogue between Tehran and Washington.

Al Thani's remarks come after Iran confirmed late Thursday the release of American-Iranian dual nationals under a swap deal of releasing five prisoners each with the US, as well as unblocking Tehran’s more than $10 billion in frozen assets in South Korea and Iraq.

Iran’s UN delegation confirmed the news to state-run news agency, IRNA.

Iran's representative to the world body told the news agency that the dual nationals were released from the high-security Evin Prison "within the framework of an agreement mediated by a third party" so that the two sides swap five prisoners in question based on forgiveness.

He stopped short of mentioning the name of the country that mediated the exchange but sources said it was Qatar.

The report said the agreement requires the US to facilitate the release of Iran's frozen assets in South Korea, which will be transferred to Qatar and used for humanitarian purposes.

It said Iran and the US agreed to exchange prisoners and unlock more than $10 billion in frozen Iranian assets.

The issue of prisoners has been one of the key sticking points in the Vienna talks, with Tehran repeatedly asking Washington not to tie the issue to the nuclear deal.

The Biden administration had over the past two years repeatedly called for the release of dual nationals detained in Iran on spying charges.

Iran had also demanded the release of its nationals imprisoned in the US, including Iranian-American dual nationals, mainly for bypassing US sanctions.

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