Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed hope Monday that a kidnapped Japanese college student would be released soon.
According to the earlier reports, Satoshi Nakamura, 23, is believed to have been abducted a week ago in southeastern Iran by a regional drug-smuggling group who demanded the release of detained members in exchange for Nakamura's freedom.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini denied that a deal would take place but said Iran was hopeful Nakamura would be released.
"Exchange and ransom is illegal. Law enforcement forces will handle the case based on the law," Hosseini told reporters. "Iranian forces have applied plenty of efforts. We are hopeful to hear news of his release soon," he said.