Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that U.S. efforts to free Americans detained in Iran are not connected to ongoing diplomatic talks about Iran's nuclear activity.
"Nothing about our overall approach to Iran has changed," Blinken said during a press conference. "We've been clear that Iran must de-escalate to create space for future diplomacy.
"This development, that is the move of our detainees out of prison and to home detention, is not linked to any other aspect of our Iran policy. It is simply about our people."
Blinken did not confirm if Iran has slowed its buildup of weapons-grade uranium, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, in an effort to ease tensions with the U.S.
"There is no agreement between us on nuclear matters," Blinken said. "The agreement that we're pursuing to bring home those who are wrongfully detained in Iran is an entirely separate matter that we want to bring to a successful conclusion. And that's what I'm focused on."
Blinken also declined to comment on the imprisonment of U.S. permanent resident Shahab Dalili in Iran, which his family claims is unjust.
"We continue to look, and will always continue to look at the situation's conditions of other Americans around the world, who may be detained," said Blinken, who noted that due to privacy reasons he is unable to comment on individual cases.
"I can simply say that as a matter of policy we're constantly reviewing whether any particular individual, whether an American citizen or legal permanent resident, who is incarcerated in another country is wrongfully detained, and that, of course, triggers a whole series of actions and steps that we take to try and secure their release."
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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