Middle East

Iran says Belgium prisoner swap ‘finalized’, Brussels denies

TEHRAN: Iran said Wednesday a prisoner exchange with Belgium was “finalized,” hinting at the release of Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele which Brussels swiftly rejected as “manipulation.”
Vandecasteele, 42, was sentenced in January to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes for “espionage,” Tehran’s judiciary said at the time, after a trial his family and Belgian authorities dubbed “unfair.”


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