The American New York Times reported that the administration of President Donald Trump and the Iranian government are negotiating a prisoner exchange deal to release a US naval combatant held in Iran, in exchange for the American authorities' release of an "Iranian-American" doctor held in the United States, and an Iranian diplomat.
The deputy director of the Iranian interests' section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, Abu al-Fadl Mehrabadi, told the New York Times that Washington is seeking to exchange the former US Naval service member, "Michael White", with an Iranian-American doctor.
Mehrabadi, who refused to mention the name of the doctor in question, said that he came out on bail, noting that the talks had not reached any results yet.
White House spokesman Jonathan Franks said he was informed that Washington and Tehran were involved in negotiations to exchange the two prisoners.
"If the Iranians have an exchange deal at the table, we would like the administration to take them into consideration and bring Michael back to his home," Franks was quoted as saying by the New York Times.
"White" is said to have traveled to the Islamic Republic to meet an Iranian woman, whom she met and fell in love with online, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran in 2018, for allegedly insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and committing privacy violations.
According to the American newspaper, at least four American citizens, including three of Iranian descent, are imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage, and the United States is said to be holding about 20 Iranian citizens.
"We are working every day for the health, safety, and release of US citizens illegally detained in Iran," said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagos earlier.