US denies Iranian media report regarding possible prisoner swap and release of $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds, saying such reports "are not true."

Iran holds four known Americans in prison.
Iran holds four known Americans in prison. (Reuters)

Iran will free prisoners in Iran with Western ties in exchange for billions of dollars from the United States and the United Kingdom, state TV has reported. 

The US immediately denied Sunday's report.

Iranian state TV quoted an anonymous official just as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei began giving what authorities earlier described as an "important" speech.

However, Khamenei did not immediately discuss any proposed swap amid negotiations in Vienna over Tehran's tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

The official quoted by Iranian state TV said a deal made between the US and Tehran involved a prisoner swap in exchange for the release of $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds.

"The Americans accepted to pay $7 billion and swap four Iranians who were active in bypassing sanctions for four American spies who have served part of their sentences," state TV said, quoting the official in an on-screen crawl.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price immediately denied the Iranian state TV report.

"Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true," Price said. "As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families."

Price did not elaborate.

READ MORE: Iran rejects 'step-by-step' lifting of US sanctions

Four known Americans in Iran's prison

Tehran holds four known Americans in prison. They include Baquer and Siamak Namazi, environmentalist Morad Tahbaz and Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi. 

The state TV report did not immediately name the Iranians that Tehran hoped to get in the swap.

READ MORE: Iran ready to swap prisoners with US "without preconditions"

Imprisonment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe

State TV also quoted the official as saying a deal had been reached for the United Kingdom to pay 400 million pounds [$552 million] to see the release of British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred calls to the Foreign Office, which could not be immediately reached.

Last week, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to an additional year in prison, her lawyer said, on charges of spreading "propaganda against the system" for participating in a protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009.

That came after she completed a five-year prison sentence in the Islamic Republic after being convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups deny.

READ MORE: UK: Another trial of Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran 'unacceptable'

While employed at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency, she was taken into custody at the Tehran airport in April 2016 as she was returning home to Britain after visiting family.

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, told The Associated Press he was not aware of any swap in the works.

"We haven’t heard anything," he said. "Of course we probably wouldn’t, but my instinct is to be skeptical at present."

READ MORE: The UK government has not done enough for Nazanin Zahgari-Ratcliffe

Source: AP