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Iran judiciary chief demands US release prisoners, assets

[JURIST] Iran's judiciary chief asked [TNA press release] the US Monday to release Iranians jailed in the US and to return Iran's assets after President Donald Trump called on [Reuters report] the state to release three detained US citizens. Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani [Reuters backgrounder] renounced the US claims and brought his own in a televised speech to other top-ranking judicial officials. "We tell them: 'You should immediately release Iranian citizens held in American prisons in violation of international rules and based on baseless charges.' ... You have seized the property of the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of all rules and in a form of open piracy, and these should be released."

Releations between the US and Iran remain strained. In March Iran imposed [JURIST report] reciprocal sanctions on 15 US companies after the US sanctioned nations that aided Iran's nuclear program. A bill renewing US sanctions against Iran for another 10 years became law [JURIST report] last December. In response to renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the US of breaching the nuclear agreement and ordered the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation to plan the development of nuclear-powered ships. The US House had approved the extension of sanctions [JURIST report] last November. In July 2015 the US entered into the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran where the county agreed not to create a nuclear bomb in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. The agreement was reached [JURIST report] after 20 months of negotiations.

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