Trump wants ‘big deal’ with Iran before election after lauding success of prisoner swap

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A US Navy veteran, Michael White, who had been held prisoner in Iran since 2018 was returned to US soil as part of an exchange of prisoners after Washington released an Iranian scientist and an Iranian doctor. Mr Trump celebrated Mr White’s release on Twitter, writing: “So great to have Michael home. Just arrived.

“Very exciting.”

Now despite the tense relations between Washington and Tehran, Mr Trump gave thanks to the regime after Mr White’s release.

He also suggested the two sides could build on the deal, presumably to achieve a nuclear breakthrough.

In a press conference, he said: “Thank you to Iran.

“Don’t wait until after US Election to make the Big deal.

“I’m going to win.

“You’ll make a better deal now!”

The US president gave his offer to Iran as he lauded the result of Mr White’s release.


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He championed the captive swap as another success for his powers of diplomacy.

Commentators have viewed the display as electioneering as the US election campaign heats up.

Mr White was arrested by Iranian authorities when traveling to the city of Mashhad in 2018.

The navy veteran was detained while he was visiting a woman he had met online and fallen in love with.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison last year for allegedly insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting private information online.

He was one of at least six Americans being held in Iran, either in jail or on bail.

US officials said Mr White’s release was part of an agreement involving Majid Taheri, an Iranian-American physician prosecuted by the Justice Department.

Mr Taheri served 16 months for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and on June 4 a federal judge released him to go see family in Iran.

The developments follow the deportation to Iran this week of Sirios Asgari, an Iranian scientist detained in the United States.

However, US and Iranian officials have denied that Mr Asgari’s release was part of a prisoner swap.

Relations between Washington and Tehran have plummeted after the US president withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in 2018.

The tension escalated further after Mr Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

US sanctions were devised to undermine the regime and force it into a new, harsher nuclear deal.

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