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No Direct Talks Over Detained US Citizens, Iran Says

Iran’s foreign ministry responded to claims by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan that the US has been in direct contact with Tehran over the detention of US citizens, saying that there have been no direct talks.

Sullivan told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “we have begun to communicate with the Iranians on this issue,” and returning the US citizens home was a “significant priority.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told the ISNA student news agency that Sullivan’s remarks are “not true as stated and there is no direct dialogue between Iran and the United States in any field.”

An Iranian news website affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council reported that the communication has been conducted through the Swiss embassy, Reuters reported. The Swiss embassy represents US interests in Iran since the US and Iran do not have official diplomatic ties.

Several Iranian-Americans have been arrested in the last few years, on charges of spying, according to Reuters.