US President Barack Obama has not slammed the door on the possibility of releasing imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, President Shimon Peres’s diplomatic adviser, Nadav Tamir, said Thursday morning.

Speaking with Army Radio following a meeting between Peres and Obama, Tamir said “it was not a decisive no. If people are expecting Pollard to return home now with Peres on a plane, that won’t happen, but the door hasn’t been slammed.”

His comments came following White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s statement Wednesday that the US position on the issue “has not changed and will not change today.”

The general campaign for Pollard’s release expressed optimism after the Peres- Obama meeting, although the session ended without his life sentence being commuted to the 26 and a half years he has served.

“Peres explained things clearly to Obama and they had a deep conversation,” a Pollard spokesman said. “Obama listened seriously and asked good questions. Peres will continue to press the issue. There is room to advance and there is hope for success, and it can even be soon.”

Justice for Jonathan Pollard, the organization run by Pollard’s wife Esther, downplayed Carney’s statement.

“The White House statement that its position on Jonathan Pollard has not changed is not new and it is not news,” the group said. “Obviously, the White House position will remain the same up to the moment that a change is announced by President Obama, which has yet to occur. If there were anything significant in the White House statement today, it was the additional comment that the White House position “will not change today.”

Esther Pollard herself urged those who want to see her husband come home “to intensify their efforts and to redouble their prayers.”

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