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Iran’s repatriated gold worth $700 million

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran says the value of 13 tons of gold returned from South Africa this week as part of a nuclear deal is $700 million.

The market value of 13 metric tons of gold assets returned from South Africa this week as part of a nuclear deal is $700 million, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Valiollah Seif said on Saturday.

The governor said no more Iranian gold abroad is currently facing repatriation problems but Iran might make new purchases and complications may arise.

In addition to the newly-acquired gold reserves, Iran has imported eight metric tons of gold worth $400 million over the past two years, Seif added.

Iran secured the release of its gold assets blocked in South Africa as per the efforts of its negotiation team in the ongoing nuclear talks, the CBI said in statement.

The transfer took place over the past week and the last consignment, including four metric tons of gold bullion, arrived in Tehran Tuesday night, Seif said.

According to the CBI, the lifting of sanctions and Iran’s unfettered access to its assets abroad is one of the main objectives of the ongoing nuclear talks.

As much as $100 billion of Iranian assets, mostly from oil sales, are reportedly blocked overseas under the sanctions regime. 

According to US State Department, Iran will have had nearly $12 billion in assets unfrozen over the course of the nuclear talks by July 7.  

Much of the Iranian money frozen after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 is blocked in the US but fresh outstanding debts have built up in European and Asian accounts following intensified sanctions in 2011.

The Indians owe Iran more than $6 billion in debts for the oil they have bought from Iran.

Royal Dutch Shell has an outstanding debt of $2.3 billion to Iran for the crude oil which the company has bought from the National Iranian Oil Company.

Greeks and South Koreans are also being cited owing a debt surpassing $10 billion to Iran among others.


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