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Iran urges release of detained citizens in U.S.
Last Updated: 2017-07-25 09:56 | Xinhua
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Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani on Monday urged Washington to "immediately" free Iranian citizens held in the U.S. prisons, Tasnim news agency reported.

Larijani denounced a recent statement by the White House that demanded the release of all Americans currently being held in Iran.

"For about forty years (following the Islamic revolution in 1979), the Americans have violated the rights of our people," he said, adding that they have kept innocent Iranian citizens in their prisons.

"We tell them here that you (the U.S.) should immediately release Iranian citizens held captive in U.S. prisons," he said, noting that "their measures are illegal and contrary to norms and international laws."

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned Iran of facing "new and serious consequences" if Iran did not release the imprisoned Americans.

"President Trump is prepared to impose new and serious consequences on Iran unless all unjustly imprisoned American citizens are released and returned," said the White House in a statement.

The U.S. statement followed earlier remarks by an Iranian Judiciary official, saying that an Iranian court had sentenced a U.S. dual national to 10 years in prison over spying charges.

The person who owns the nationality of both the United States and another country had snooped into Iran to gather documents and intelligence, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie, spokesman for Iranian judiciary, told the reporters.

Also, Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday rejected Trump's demand to release detained Americans, describing it as "interfering and unacceptable."

"The meddlesome and threatening statements by the United States would not affect the Iranian Judiciary's determination to prosecute and punish the violators of Iran's law and national security," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.

Qasemi stressed the independence of Iranian Judiciary, adding that Iranian Judiciary is responsible to deal with the behaviors and moves that would threaten the national security.

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