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The United States can exchange prisoners with Iran and deport Iranian scientist Sirous Asgari from the country, Reuters reported.

According to it, Abolfazl Mehrabadi, an Iranian diplomat who is deputy director of Tehran’s interests section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, said that Asgari, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was under the medical supervision of the US immigration authorities and was awaiting permission to leave the country. “We are working and cooperating with the immigration office to deport him as soon as possible to Iran,” Mehrabadi said.

The representative of the US Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) confirmed that Asgari would be deported as soon as he received permission to leave, but did not give specific dates.

Three Iranian officials told the agency that an exchange of prisoners is under development, a likely candidate for the exchange is American Michael White, who was detained in Iran in 2018.

In mid-March,  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tehran was considering freeing some US citizens and urged them to do so as a humanitarian gesture because of the coronavirus.

Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif at the end of March accused the US of endangering the lives and health of Iranian prisoners by not releasing them from prisons amid coronavirus pandemic.

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