White House: Can’t Predict if Iran Prisoner Swap Will Incentivize Further Hostage-Taking

On Monday’s broadcast of “CNN News Central,” White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby responded to a question on whether the Iranian prisoner swap will make Iran more likely to take Americans hostage by stating that Iran has taken American hostages for a long time and “I can’t perfectly predict whether they’ll do it again or not.”

Co-host Kate Bolduan asked, “Lingering question remains, is Iran more or less likely to wrongfully detain another American citizen, take them hostage because of this deal?”

Kirby responded, “Sadly, this has been a behavior that Iran has been participating in for decades now. And so, I can’t perfectly predict whether they’ll do it again or not. Which is why, quite frankly, the State Department has been so adamant about warning Americans and dual nationals in particular, because the Iranians don’t regard dual nationals as anything other than Americans, so there’s a real risk here. And we’ve been very clear about warning people not to go to Iran. And if you’re in Iran and you have an American passport, you ought to look at leaving, because it’s not a good place to be. That’s why they added a designation now, a D for countries, so that — to warn Americans, if you’re going to travel, know what the risks are.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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