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WB says $30bn of Iran’s assets unfrozen

The World Bank says Iran has been able to access $30 billion of its frozen assets after the removal of the sanctions.

The World Bank says a landmark nuclear deal that Iran signed with the P5+1 last year has already enabled the country to gain access to as much as $30 billion of its assets that had been frozen as a result of the sanctions.  

The nuclear deal - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – which came into effect in January envisages the removal of certain nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in return for steps by the country to limit certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities. 

A central theme in the JCPOA – which Iran sealed with the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany last year – was providing access to Iran to its frozen assets among other things. 

The Iranian government had already said it expects at least $30 billion of its assets to be unblocked after the sanctions are removed.

The bulk of the country’s assets had been frozen in bank accounts that were connected to its oil sales to its major Asian clients including India, South Korea, China and Japan. 

The World Bank in its Quarterly Economic Brief titled “Whither Oil Prices?” has further emphasized that the falling oil prices have hurt the Iranian economy but less than other oil producers in the region. 

The reason is that compared to other oil producers, the Iranian economy is more diversified, and therefore less dependent on oil revenues. Oil accounts for about 30 percent of government revenues, the Bank added as reported by Trend news agency.

Market figures are already showing that Iran’s oil exports – that had been a key subject of the sanctions for multiple years – are already rising to record levels within only a short time after the removal of the sanctions in January.   

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