In the weekly press brief conference, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh denied the existence of secret talks with the UK on the release of Zaghari. Speaking upon questions on recent reports claiming that Iranian and British officials held legal talks for the release of Zaghari, Spokesperson Khatibzadeh said, “Legal negotiations are not going on between the two countries.”
Nazanin Zaghari, a dual Iranian-British citizen, was sentenced to prison due to espionage against the Islamic Republic.
Recently, some reports claiming that Iran and the UK held secret talks regarding the release of Zaghari in exchange for the release of £400 million frozen Iranian assets have circulated in the media. However, the Iranian high diplomat pointed out that the only post which can take a decision on the issue is the Iranian judiciary.
Regarding the negotiations between the two countries, Khatibzadeh said that “what is being discussed relates to issues about bilateral relations.”
On the other hand, there is an issue between the two countries, which traced back to the time of the Shah regime of Iran. In this context, Iran thinks that the UK owes £400m to the Iranian government due to the non-delivery of Chieftain tanks which were ordered by the Shah regime before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.