Iran ready for talks with Saudi Arabia


Talks among the countries of the region and between Iran and Saudi Arabia will result in more peace, stability and progress, said Official…reports Asian Lite News

Iran has always been ready for talks “at any level and in any form” with its neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, to settle issues, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said here.

“Changes in tone and discourse help a lot to reduce tensions,” Xinhua news agency quoted Khatibzadeh as saying at a weekly press briefing on Monday.

He added that the talks will lead to serious practical results only if coupled with a change in behaviour.

Dialogues among the countries of the region and between Iran and Saudi Arabia will result in more peace, stability and progress, the spokesman noted.

Earlier, the Iranian Foreign Ministry had dismissed a report that Tehran is preparing to free five prisoners in exchange for access to bank accounts that have long been frozen due to diplomatic disputes with the UK and the US.

“As a rule, we don’t confirm reports and statements by so-called informed sources,” dpa news agency quoted Ministry spokesperson Saeid Khatibzadeh as saying.

The comments were prompted by a report by Lebanese broadcaster Al-Mayadeen, which reported on Sunday that Iran is poised to free five people, all with dual citizenship in either the UK or the US, for access to funds that have long been frozen because of ongoing diplomatic disputes about Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes.

The report, which the authors said was based on information from informed sources, was cited in Iranian media several times at the weekend.

Although Al-Mayadeen did not name the prisoners, it is believed that the four Americans refer to three business executives and one environmental activist incarcerated in Iran.

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According to the report, their freedom would give access to 7 billion dollars currently frozen.

The fifth person is allegedly Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who also has British citizenship and was recently released after five years in detention.

But she was quickly sentenced again to another year in jail for participating in a demonstration 12 years ago.

United States President Joe Biden

According to the report, the UK was prepared to free up 400 million pounds out of frozen accounts in exchange for Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s freedom.

Khatibzadeh said there was no link between the frozen funds and any talks about releasing prisoners.

However, he did say there are routine conversations with the US about the status of the prisoners.

London and Washington have already denied the report.

The two countries have routinely accused Iran of using the prisoners as leverage in an effort to regain access to the frozen funds, a charge Iran regularly denies.

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