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Abbas Mousavi, Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed that Iran could free individuals imprisoned in America. Speaking to the IRNA news agency, Mousavi said: “If the possibility of exchanging prisoners exists, we have the readiness to free the rest of the individuals who are imprisoned in America and return them to the country.” US Navy veteran, Micheal White was freed last Thursday as part of a deal in which the United States sanctioned Iranian-American physician Majid Taheri to visit Iran.
This is said to be a rare move from the United States.
White’s release came two days after the deportation of Iranian Professor, Sirous Asgari.
The professor had been imprisoned in America despite having been acquitted of stealing trade secrets.
It is believed the mutual release of prisoners will be one step closer to suppressing tensions between Iran and the United States.
The compromise could also prove to be a low-cost way of providing the country’s leaders with small breakthroughs.
Tensions between the two countries have been growing for years and reached boiling point earlier this year.
In January, Trump revealed he had ordered an airstrike in Iran to kill Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani.
A decision that previous presidents had condemned as a step too far.
A few days later, Iran responded to the airstrike by firing missiles at Iraqi bases that housed American troops.
Tensions heightened again when Iran mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, in response to a fear of US aggression.
All 176 people on board the passenger jet were killed.
Trump’s decision to act diplomatically rather than military following Iran’s missile attack exhibits signs that tensions are cooling between the two countries.
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Whiet there has been a spike in tensions between the US and Iran, it’s a long and complicated history.
Points of hostility have included US political interference in Tehran, regulation of Iran’s oil reserves and the growing influence of both in the Middle East.
In 1979, Iranian students lay siege to the US embassy in Tehran, taking groups of Americans hostages.
The students demanded the Shah be extradited to Iran to face trial for crimes against the Iranian people.
The Shah had been admitted to the US for cancer treatment a year before.
In 1980, the Iraq war permeated the growing tensions between the two countries.
The US’s decision to back Iraq in its invasion of neighbouring Iran initiated an eight-year regional war.
Four years later, under Regan’s administration, the US declares Iran as a sponsor of terrorism.
To this day, this designation still stands.
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