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Iran Foreign Ministry confirms report on release of funds blocked abroad

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)
Iranian Foreign Ministry confirms the country has reached an agreement on release of blocked funds.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has confirmed media reports published last week suggesting that Tehran will be able to access billions of dollar worth of funds that have remained frozen in foreign banks because of American sanctions.

“The required framework for lifting the ban on a significant part of the country’s blocked foreign exchange resources has been set up and agreed,” Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Monday.

He said a senior delegation from the country where the Iranian funds have been blocked will travel to Tehran later this week to discuss the issue.

The comments came hours after Khatibzadeh said in his weekly press briefing with reporters that he knew nothing about the reported agreement on release of the funds.

Local media have indicated in their reports that the funds could amount to $7 billion, suggesting that it will be South Korea that will release the funds.

The funds are the biggest chunk of Iranian foreign exchange resources that have remained blocked in several countries since the United States withdrew from and international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, known as the JCPOA, and imposed sanctions on the country in 2018.

The release of the funds in South Korea could affect the ongoing efforts by Iran and world powers to revive the JCPOA.

Talks on the issue stalled last month in Vienna after Iran said that Washington needed to take a series of tough political decisions to ensure a good agreement will be within reach.


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