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Jewish officials denied an Israeli media report that Israel has rejected a proposal to negotiate with Iran for the release of 13 Iranian Jews under arrest on charges of spying for Israel. The report said Iran is seeking up to $1 billion that it claims Israel owes it from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said there were no overtures from Iran’s spiritual leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and said the community would reject any attempts to link the fate of the prisoners to payment of Iranian financial claims.

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