Iran slams new U.S. sanctions on media outlets

Iran and the United States on Monday conducted a much-anticipated prisoner swap, each releasing five detainees. [Xinhua]

Iran on Tuesday criticized the United States for imposing new sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities, including media outlets, calling the move a "trite bid" to suppress transparency and truth.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said that the sanctions demonstrate Washington's "fear for the reality to be shown by truth-seeking and leading media."

Jahromi also highlighted Washington's double standards, pointing out that while the U.S. supports media aligned with its policies, it stifles independent voices.

"The United States is addicted to imposing sanctions and cannot quit it," the spokesman said.

The U.S. government announced last week new sanctions on 29 Iranian individuals and entities, including the Tehran-based Press TV news channel as well as the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies and three of their senior officials.

Commenting on a prisoner swap between Iran and the U.S. conducted on Monday, Jahromi said the swap was a humanitarian move, which "is completely conventional in the area of international law."

He also highlighted the release of Iranian assets frozen in South Korean banks as "a significant success" for the Iranian government.

Iran and the United States conducted a prisoner swap on Monday, releasing five detainees from each side. Also on Monday, Iran's central bank said the Iranian assets previously frozen in South Korean banks, amounting to around 5.94 billion U.S. dollars, have been transferred to six Iranian accounts in two Qatari banks.