The United States has proposed exchanging Amir Hekmati, the former US marine currently jailed in Iran, for a number of Iranian prisoners being held in the U.S., Hekmati's lawyer has told the media.

ISNA reports that according to Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabayi, the U.S. has sent word that it is willing to exchange Hekmati with Iranian detainees in the United States.

Hekmati was arrested on espionage charges in 2011 when he travelled to Iran. Hekmati's family maintains that he was only visiting his grandmother and is not involved in spying. Iranian television has aired a program in which Hekmati confesses to spying charges.

Hekmati had been sentenced to death, but the appellate court reduced his sentence to 10 years in prison.

Alizadeh Tabatabayi says the names of the prisoners to be exchanged with Hekmati have been forwarded to the foreign ministry and must be discussed with the judiciary before a decision can be made in the matter.