Iran's foreign minister proposes prisoner swap for jailed British-Iranian mother

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When asked if US warships could still pass through the Strait of Hormuz, Zarif - a veteran diplomat who has been foreign minister for more than six years - said: "Ships can go through the Strait of Hormuz".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Asia Society that Iran has not yet received a response from the Trump administration.

Inflation in Iran reached almost 50 percent a year ago, while food prices spiked over 70 percent, creating unrest and prompting Tehran to keep up its anti-U.S. narrative to deflect any responsibility it bears for bringing the sanctions in the first place.

Mousavi called USA sanctions "illegal, cruel and driven by bullying" and said that Tehran is "hopeful that those buyers of Iranian oil who stood against this unilateral move in their comments, also take action", Reuters reports.

US officials speaking during Thursday's call that they were confident China would be able to find alternative supplies to Iran.

After the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports in November, it initially allowed the eight biggest buyers of Iranian oil to keep purchasing limited imports for six months until April.

Zarif named two such "influencers": Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The impasse appears to leave Zaghari-Ratcliffe's plight as before: still waiting to see if the Iranian judiciary are prepared to grant her clemency or will instead make her serve her full five-year sentence.

Benjamin Netanyahu wants to name Israeli town after Trump
"The Israeli government is not a racist government, nor does it include a single racist minister", he said. I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis.

US President Donald Trump may not want war, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said, but that won't stop the hawks in his administration and Israel from "luring" him into one, possibly with a false flag attack.

US crude inventories were also an overhang, analysts said.

However, Mr Zarif suggested possible cooperation with the United States to bring stability to Iraq and Afghanistan, a priority for both Tehran and Washington.

Speaking to Asia Society in NY on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said he felt sorry for the woman, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, before offering an exchange.

"Now we hear about Nazanin Zahari and her child, and I feel sorry for them and I've done my best to help", Zarif said. But nobody talks about this lady in Australia who gave birth in prison. "The United States believes charges against these people in Iran are phony". "I put this offering on the table publicly now - exchange them".

He then explained his suggestion of swapping prisoners. "They can take a bite out of consumers' purchasing power", said Scott Hoyt, senior director at Moody's Analytics, where he follows consumer economics.

Last month, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was given diplomatic protection by the United Kingdom government in an attempt to pressure Iran into releasing her. "I have authority to do it", said Zarif, who has frequently insisted that Iran's judiciary is independent when asked about controversial detentions.

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