Iran's foreign minister on Wednesday May 15th proposed a prisoner swap for a British-Iranian mother detained in Tehran, saying the United States should drop charges against an Iranian woman imprisoned in Australia, for whom the US is seeking extradition. Britain has been trying unsuccessfully to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual national who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation and was arrested in 2016.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif drew a parallel between Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Negar Ghodskani, an Iranian woman who was arrested in Australia in 2017 and separated from her newborn child while the United States seeks her extradition, AFP has reported.
"We hear about Nazanin Zaghari and her child and I feel sorry for them and I've done my best to help," Zarif said at the Asia Society in New York, where he was participating in a UN session. "But nobody talks about this lady in Australia who gave birth to a child in prison, whose child is growing up outside prison with the mother in prison," he said.
"I put this offer on the table publicly now -- exchange them," he said.
While presenting the cases of the two women as the basis of a possible exchange, Zarif proposed a broader exchange for Iranians held or sought for extradition by the United States.