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Iran ready to implement Qatar-mediated prisoner swap deal with U.S. - official

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Iran's and U.S.' flags

DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran is ready to implement a Qatar-mediated deal with the United States, its foreign minister said on Thursday, under which Washington and Tehran each would free five prisoners and $6 billion in Iranian assets held in South Korea would be released.

The broad outlines of the U.S.-Iran deal under which U.S. citizens detained by Iran would be allowed to leave in exchange for the transfer of the funds to banks in Qatar and the release of five Iranians held in the United States were made public on Aug. 10.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, in a telephone conversation with his Qatari counterpart, praised Doha's constructive role during months of negotiations that resulted in clinching the pact, Iranian state media reported.

Qatar's prime minister and foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said the process of wiring the Islamic Republic's unfrozen funds to Qatari banks will be completed as early as next week, Iranian media reported.

Washington has waived sanctions to allow the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar, which will monitor how Iran's clerical rulers will spend the funds to purchase humanitarian goods.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday the deal was expected to be carried out in the coming days.

(Additional reporting by Elwely Elwelly in Dubai; writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Mark Heinrich)