US hits Iran for delay in nuclear and prisoner swap talks

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is lashing out at Iran for accusing it of delaying a proposed prisoner swap to force a quick resumption of paused indirect nuclear talks.

The State Department on Saturday slammed as “outrageous” comments made by Iran’s deputy foreign minister who blamed the U.S. and Britain for the delay.

In a pair of tweets from his verified account, Seyyed Abbas Araghchi had said the nuclear talks being held in Vienna could not resume until Iran’s hardline president-elect is inaugurated in early August.

He also said the U.S. and Britain were holding the prisoner swap “hostage” to the nuclear talks.

In response, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. was prepared to continue talks on prisoners while waiting for the resumption of the nuclear negotiations.