Addressing the topic of the ongoing prisoner exchange with Iran, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. National Security Advisor, commented today, “We believe that things are proceeding according to the understanding that we’ve reached with Iran.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, engaged in the narrative similarly yesterday. He remarked, when questioned, “The process is going well. We are optimistic that the transfer process will be culminate within the stipulated timeframe.”
In regard to the tentative schedule for the execution of this accord, Kanaani mentioned, “The ultimate span for this task was a two-month period. A consensus was achieved between both sides, resulting in a progression toward the actualization of the agreement.” Concurrently, Sullivan noted, “I don’t have an exact timetable for you because there’s steps that need to yet unfold. But we believe that that remains on track.”
Yesterday, the Yonhap Infomax news portal conveyed via an undisclosed source, that Iranian money in South Korea had been transferred to an account in Switzerland. An implicit affirmation of the report came from Sullivan today when he said that the funds were relocated to an institution with restricted authorizations and under scrutiny.
Assessments from both U.S. and Iranian authorities regarding the implementation of the mutually agreed upon arrangements echo similarities as both have described processes as “going well” or “according to the understanding”. Nevertheless, the terms employed by each side to encapsulate the results of the dialogues diverge, with Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman favoring “agreement” and the U.S National Security Advisor, “understanding”.
The disclosure of the accord between Iran and the United States concerning the prisoner exchange spurred U.S media to publish reports hinting at the lessening of tensions in other sectors, including nuclear and regional. Yet official confirmation has been glaringly absent from both Iranian and American sides. However, such a topic has seen neither blatant denial.
A question that naturally arises from the recent understanding between Iran and the United States is: could such an arrangement extend to nuclear issues? To date, there has been no noteworthy information or indications of the JCPOA revival talks. Merely reports of Iran slowing down the pace of enrichment at the higher level have surfaced, without official validation. It seems one may need to wait for the forthcoming report from the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency for a response to such an inquiry. Unless, of course, a related official brings forth an official statement or remarks before then.
The prevailing stance among American officials is that the process is ongoing, and disclosure of details might not serve the current proceedings. Iranian authorities, on the other hand, express views suggesting ‘media speculation or comments carry little weight or significance in this context’.
Nonetheless, Kanaani, on Monday, expressed hope for the ‘fulfillment of the agreement’ as well as ‘the necessary foundations and trust building for advancements in other areas.’