TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran said Monday it won't hand over its senior al-Qaida captives to the United States and denied reports it hopes to swap the detainees for U.S.-held Iranian opposition figures.
"We hand over al-Qaida operatives who belong to friendly countries or countries we have signed extradition treaties (with). We don't have an extradition treaty with the United States," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh told reporters.
Ramezanzadeh also refused to name any of the detainees, and rejected reports that Tehran may swap al-Qaida members with leaders of the Iraq-based armed Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen, who are under U.S. control in Iraq.
"We will take members of the hypocrites (Iran's reference to People's Mujahedeen) from America if they offer, but there is no talk of swap. We don't treat the issue of terrorism selectively, nor do we make deals," Ramezanzadeh said.
Iran said earlier it was holding talks with foreign intelligence services, including Britain's, over the fate of detained al-Qaida members. Iran has also said it would hand over to Saudi Arabia any Saudis among the detained suspects.
Iran says it won't hand over Al-Qaida detainees
Published: Tue Aug 05, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:14 p.m.