Iran Plays Down Report that US Secretly Asked for Talks on Prisoners
An Iranian official dismissed as “old news” on Thursday a report in the Western news media that Washington had reached out to Tehran in December to establish secret, back-channel talks to negotiate the release of prisoners held by both sides.
The official, Hamidreza Taraghi, said that he had given interviews as far back as July to Iranian news outlets about similar attempts by the Trump administration to arrange secret talks on prisoners using intermediaries from Oman and from Europe.
But Mr. Taraghi, an adviser to the hard-liners around the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Iran had rejected the entreaties then and would never enter into discussions with the Trump administration. (New York Times