Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iran Steps Closer to Recover $7 Billion of Frozen Assets

Iran Steps Closer to Recover $7 Billion of Frozen Assets

Tuesday, 12 April, 2022 - 08:30
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh speaks to media during a press conference in Tehran on November 15, 2021. (AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that part of the Iranian assets frozen under US sanctions “will be released soon,” without giving further details.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Khatibzadeh as saying that the necessary framework for removing the blockade of a “significant part” of Iran's frozen assets has been determined.

His statements came about an hour after his weekly press conference, where he denied being well-informed about the release of the frozen assets or the imminent visit of a regional official.

IRNA had reported that a high-ranking regional official “will travel to Tehran on Tuesday to finalize the mechanism for launching $7 billion.”

“According to the agreement reached with countries that have contracts with Iran, the framework was set for lifting the seizure of a significant part of the country’s frozen assets,” IRNA said, noting that the agreement provides for the transfer of Iranian assets to the country’s bank accounts within weeks.

The agency noted that the framework “is similar to that agreed upon with Britain,” in reference to the British-Iranian deal under which debts were paid to Iran in exchange for the release of Britons of Iranian origin.

In turn, Tasnim agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, reported that the Iranian assets “are likely to be transferred to the (branch) account of the Central Bank of Iran in Amman, while a senior regional official is arriving to finalize the mechanism for releasing the $7 billion.”

However, Khatibzadeh expressed on Monday Iranian doubts about the “determination” of the United States to reach an understanding to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, speaking of continuing differences after a year of negotiations between Tehran and the six great powers.

“We really don’t know if we’ll get a deal or not, because the United States hasn’t shown the necessary will to reach an agreement,” Khatibzadeh said, as quoted by AFP.

“All components of maximum pressure must be removed,” he added. “Unfortunately, the United States is trying to maintain some of the elements of maximum pressure.”

Editor Picks