Amid tensions between Washington and Tehran, US President Donald Trump on Saturday said, the release of American citizen Xiyue Wang by Iran in a prisoner swap could be a precursor to what could be done. “We are very happy to have our hostage back. The whole Princeton University community is very thrilled. And there was a one-on-one hostage swap,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawns of the White House.
“Actually, I think it was a great thing for Iran. I think it was great to show that we can do something. It might have been a precursor to what can be done,” said Trump.
Earlier in the day, Trump thanked Iran for fair negotiations.
“Taken during the Obama Administration (despite USD150 Billion gift), returned during the Trump Administration. Thank you to Iran on a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together!” tweeted the US President.
Iran’s economy has primarily been battered since the country has been locked in a standoff with the United States and its Gulf Arab allies after US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal that gave it relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Earlier, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned the US and its allies as he addressed a pro-government demonstration denouncing last week’s violent protests over a fuel price hike. Gen. Hossein Salami, echoing other Iranian officials, accused the US, Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia of stoking the unrest.
Addressing the crowd on Monday, he warned the West: If you cross our red line, we will destroy you... We will not leave any move unanswered.
Amnesty International says more than 100 people were killed in the protests. Iran has not released a death toll and cut off internet for several days, making it hard to ascertain the extent and severity of the demonstrations.