The United States and Iran are close to an agreement on thawing Iraqi assets in exchange for the release of American hostages and "more Iranian flexibility in negotiations over the nuclear program," Iran International reported on Sunday. The assets that the United States could thaw are around $10 billion.
As part of the talks, Iran will release three American citizens and two citizens with permanent residency in the United States who were detained on espionage charges.
Israel is familiar with the subject. Knesset building, photo: Oren Ben Hakon
An Israeli source confirms the report about the contacts, saying that "the issue is familiar." It should be noted that Israel knows all along that the Biden administration is trying to reach an agreement with Iran, despite their statements that "the nuclear agreement is not relevant at the moment." A senior Israeli official recently told Israel Hayom: "We know about the American efforts, the secret meetings and the probes. The Americans think we don't know, but we do."
The court in Antwerp during Assadi's trial in 2020, photo: Reuters
Two days ago, Iran and Belgium brokered an Oman-brokered prisoner exchange deal when Asadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat convicted in Belgium of planning an attack and sentenced to prison, was returned to the Islamic Republic in exchange for Olivier Vandekastele, a Belgian citizen who worked in Tehran and was imprisoned after being accused of espionage more than a year ago.
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