Iran’s official IRNA news agency says that the country will soon access a large tranche of its hard currency funds that have remained frozen in foreign banks for years because of US sanctions.
“A significant chunk of Iran’s blocked foreign exchange resources will be released following a new agreement,” said the IRNA report published on Wednesday without elaborating on more details about the agreement.
Iran has tens of billions of dollar worth of funds in foreign banks that it cannot access because of US sanctions.
The funds are mostly kept in banks in South Korea, Iraq, China, Japan and India where Iran is owed for shipments of crude and other energy products that took place before the United States imposed its sanctions on Tehran in 2018.
Speaking to the IRNA, an “informed official” who was not identified confirmed the report about the release of the funds.
The IRNA said that the funds will be several times bigger than a $530 million payment that Britain made to Iran last month to settle an old debt.
Sources close the government had reported a similar release of Iranian funds in November without elaborating on the name of the country where the funds were kept.
However, later statements suggested the funds may have been released by the Trade Bank of Iraq where Baghdad has deposited payments related to imports of natural gas and electricity from Iran over the past years.
Iran and the United States are in the midst of talks to revive an international agreement on Iran's nuclear program three years after Washington pulled out of the deal and imposed sanctions on Tehran.