Iran says U.S. should explain links to convicted dual national Sharmahd

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

DUBAI (Reuters) -The United States should explain its links to the Iranian-German national Jamshid Sharmahd sentenced to death in Iran, Tehran's foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday, adding that progress had been made in a prisoner swap deal with Washington.

Nasser Kanaani's remarks came after a U.S. envoy for Iran, Abram Paley, met on Friday with the family of Sharmahd, who was convicted of heading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly bombing in 2008.

Sharmahd, who also has U.S. residency, was sentenced to death by an Iranian Revolutionary court in February on charges of "corruption on earth".

His daughter has urged Washington not to exclude Sharmahd from the developing prisoner exchange deal between the United States and Iran, under which $6 billion in Iranian funds in South Korea would also be unfrozen.

Iran on Aug. 10 released four imprisoned U.S. citizens into house arrest, where they joined a fifth already under home confinement, in the first step of a deal under which the five would eventually be allowed to leave the Islamic Republic.

Kanaani said progress has been made regarding implementation of the deal, thanking the "constructive role" of neighbouring Gulf Arab states Qatar and Oman in facilitating the agreement.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Mark Heinrich)