As the United States and Iran hold indirect talks about engaging in a rare exchange of prisoners, observers have shared new insights about the little-known Iranians under U.S. detention or prosecution who could be included in a swap.U.S. and Iranian officials have said the two sides have been discussing the prisoner issue through mediators in recent weeks, a period in which the longtime adversaries also have held indirect talks in Vienna aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.FILE – Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei speaks during a press briefing in Tehran, Iran, July 7, 2019.Last month, Elliott Abrams, U.S. special representative for Iran, talks during an interview with The Associated Press at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 12, 2020.”It would be very distasteful, because the Americans are hostages who were put in jail by Iran to be hostages, whereas the Iranians in prison in the United States are people who were convicted in a court of law. Nevertheless, we do want to get our fellow citizens back,” Abrams said.The source who spoke to VOA said the Biden administration will not accept Iran’s demand to free all Iranians under prosecution and detention, particularly those convicted of violent crimes.Regarding which Iranians the U.S. might release, Abrams said those who have served most of their sentences or who are on supervised release from detention due to the pandemic would be “a little more palatable.”This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service.  VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching and VOA Persian’s Hossein Ghazanfari contributed to this report.

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