Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

France refuses to return cultural artifacts to Benin

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France's Fillon insists President Hollande is behind efforts to tarnish him

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Mass graves bear witness to growing violence in DR Congo

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen meets French troops in Chad

Read more

THE DEBATE

Westminster attack: What response to parliament rampage? (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Westminster attack: What response to parliament rampage? (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

A day in the life of an Indian entrepreneur

Read more

france 24 France

Republicans 'asked Iran to delay prisoner swap' until after US election

© FRANCE 24 | It is Admiral Shamkani's first interview with French media

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-02-12

Members of the US Republican Party asked officials in Tehran to delay a January prisoner swap until after the 2016 presidential election, an Iranian admiral told FRANCE 24 on Thursday.

Iran released four US citizens being held in Iran on January 16, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. In return the US said it was offering clemency to seven Iranians being held for sanctions violations and dropped charges against 14 more.

In his first interview with French media, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, who is secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, told FRANCE 24 that US Republicans – wary of allowing President Barack Obama to win a public relations victory ahead of the US presidential election in November – asked for the swap to be put on hold.

“We were carrying out negotiations with the Obama administration, when representatives of the Republican Party got in touch with us,” Shamkhani said. “As a favour, they asked us to do what we could to hinder the talks and to push them back until after the next US presidential elections – in other words, after President Obama's departure.”

“I felt that this rivalry at the heart of American power was inappropriate,” Shamkhani added.

“It seems that the Republicans relegated humanity to second place after political expediency, which I found very surprising. But we succeeded, and the prisoners were released during Obama’s mandate.”

Date created : 2016-02-12

  • FRANCE

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announces departure from government

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    France to organise conference on Israel-Palestinian two-state solution

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French foreign minister’s son in custody over fraud probe

    Read more

COMMENT(S)