Americans seek 'prisoner' swop with Iran for jailed US reporter

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been imprisoned in Iraq since 2014.
Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been imprisoned in Iraq since 2014.PHOTO: REUTERS

(Reuters) -  He's been imprisoned in Iran since 2014, convicted of espionage,  although his actual sentence remains unclear.

Now, it seems unnamed Americans have been reaching out to Teheran to swop Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian for other detainees.

That's according to a senior Iranian official who was quoted on Sunday (Jan 3) by Iran's Fars news agency.

The official, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, did not specify which detainees might be under consideration, nor did he give any other details about what the Americans could have in mind for a swop with 39-year-old Rezaian.

Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani has hinted that Rezaian could be freed in exchange for Iranian prisoners in the United States but other Iranian officials have played down that possibility .

Among other things, Rezaian was charged with giving confidential information to hostile governments and acting against national security, charges his employer dismisses as absurd.

The case is a sensitive issue for Washington and Iran and Mr Ejei's comments on Sunday do little to resolve it.