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Iran, U.S. Deny Prisoner Swap Report

The United States and Iran have both denied reports that Washington proposed a prisoner swap for a former U.S. marine jailed in Iran.​

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said on December 31 that there has been no formal request for prisoner exchange for U.S.-Iranian citizen Amir Hekmati, who has been in held since 2011 for alleged spying.

Hekmati's lawyer was quoted by Iranian media on December 30 as saying that Washingon had sought his release by requesting a prisoner exchange.

The lawyer claimed Washington had made the request through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which handles U.S. interests in the Islamic republic.

Speaking on December 30, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke described the reports as inaccurate while calling on Iran to release Hekmati and other detained Americans.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, BBC, Tasnim