In a historic announcement, Iran actually caved in and decided they are ready to cooperate with President Donald Trump. They finally say they’re willing to do to a full prisoner swap. Even better, Ali Rabiei, the Iranian government spokesperson, says there are no preconditions to the agreement.
Will Iran Cooperate after 40 Years of Hostility?
Washington and Tehran severed diplomatic ties back in 1979. This was shortly after Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Muslim fundamentalists seized the American embassy and held 52 U.S. citizens hostage for 444 days. Since then, Switzerland usually handles negotiations between the two countries. However, this seems about to change.
Rabiei says, “We have stated our readiness to discuss the release of all prisoners without preconditions … but Americans have not responded yet. It seems to us that Americans are more prepared than before to end this situation.”
“Washington is aware of our readiness and we think there is no need for a third country to mediate between Tehran and Washington for the prisoner exchange,” he added.
Why is Iran Ready to Cooperate?
Both nations support a prisoner exchange due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. America suffers the highest number of virus-related deaths worldwide, and Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Middle East.
Earlier this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Iran to release any American prisoners. He called it a humanitarian gesture in response to the coronavirus crisis. Tehran responded in kind. Rabiei said, “We are worried about the safety and health of jailed Iranians in America … We hold America responsible for their safety amid the coronavirus outbreak.”
What Happens Next?
“…if the American side agrees, the interest section of Iran in Washington will inform the U.S. of our views on the details, including how and when the exchange will take place,” Rabiei concluded.
This has actually been in the works since last year. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister said back in December his country was ready for a total prisoner swap with America. He tweeted, “The ball is in the U.S.’ court.”