Ahmadinejad suggests exchange for jailed US hikers

February 2, 2010 23:16

TEHRAN — Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested in a television interview Tuesday that Iran would release three jailed US hikers in exchange for Iranians currently serving in American prisons.

Ahmadinejad said that there were ongoing negotiations about possibly exchanging the hikers for several Iranians jailed for years in the United States.

"There are some talks under way to have an exchange, if it is possible," he said. "Recently they (the US) have sent messages, we answered to bring them (the Iranians), to bring these people (the hikers). We are hopeful that all prisoners to be released."

Ahmadinejad did not mention any specific cases, but in December, Iran released a list of 11 Iranians it says are being held in the US — including a nuclear scientist who disappeared in Saudi Arabia and a former Iranian defense ministry official who vanished in Turkey.

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