Britain will pay Iran an outstanding debt of more than £400 million, announced Tehran’s ambassador to the UK.
“Britain is to pay Iran £450 million as an outstanding debt,” Hamid Baeidinejad said.
Writing on his Telegram account, he explained: “An outstanding debt owed by the UK to Tehran will be transferred to the central bank of Iran in the coming days.”
Britain owes Iran around £450 million for a canceled arms deal in the 1970s. The Shah of Iran paid Britain £650 million for 1,750 Chieftain tanks but only 185 had been delivered when he was toppled in 1979 and the new government canceled the order.
Britain was told to pay back £450 million by the International Chamber of Commerce in a 2009 ruling, but sanctions on military equipment prevent payment.
The UK has since agreed to pay back some of the debt, but says it is unable to transfer the money because of international sanctions on Iran.
The Times said Saturday that the British government believes that the Iranian announcement could really be made to push Britain to pay the debt, noting that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is preparing to visit Tehran soon.
Talks about paying the compensation to Iran came at a time when London has been working on the case of releasing Iranian-British national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was detained in Iran on charges of working against the regime.
Meanwhile, British reports on Saturday spoke of Iranian attempts to silence the Persian version of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The Times newspaper talked about pressure being exerted by Iran on families of journalists working for BBC Persian.
It pointed out that the relatives of journalists are constantly facing the risk of arrest and interrogation with the aim of putting pressure on the employees to spy on them and prevent them from publishing "negative" topics against the Iranian regime.