Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas AraghchiREUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for the Islamic Republic of Iran, has promised that ten prisoners may be released Sunday, if the US and UK cooperate.

On Saturday night, Araghchi tweeted: "We're in a transition period as a democratic transfer of power is underway in our capital. Vienna talks must thus obviously await our new administration. This is what every democracy demands."

He added that the "US & UK need to understand this and stop linking a humanitarian exchange — ready to be implemented — with the JCPOA. Keeping such an exchange hostage to political aims achieves neither."

"TEN PRISONERS on all sides may be released TOMORROW if US&UK fulfill their part of deal."

The JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is commonly known as the "Iran deal," and aims to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.

Former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, and Iran has gradually scaled back its claimed compliance in response to the withdrawal, continuing to do so as the US began indirect talks with Iran on a return to compliance with the agreement.

The talks in Vienna have involved diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia who met the Iranian representatives, while US diplomats participated indirectly in the talks from a nearby hotel.

The US and European Union both said recently that more work was needed to revive the 2015 deal, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the "negotiations have achieved 60-70 percent progress."