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Issues left unsettled amid efforts to unblock Iranian funds

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 some issues remain unsettled amid efforts to release Iranian funds blocked abroad.

A spokesman of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says Iran could access billions of dollars worth of its funds that have remained blocked in foreign banks because of US sanctions if some minor problems related to banking transactions are settled in talks with foreign negotiating partners.

In a tweet posted on Sunday, Mostafa Qamarivafa said that “considerable progress” had been made in talks in recent weeks to unblock Iran’s funds in other countries but he said that some banking issues needed to be settled first.

“Continuous follow-ups are being conducted in collaboration with the foreign ministry to unblock our country’s foreign currency resources,” he said.

The official did not elaborate on the name of the country where the funds have been held.

Reports on Saturday had suggested that South Korea would release more than $7 billion worth of funds that it has deposited into accounts in two of its banks to settle energy debts to Iran. 

The reports indicated that the release would be processed based on an understanding between Iran and the United States under which Tehran would release American prisoners in return for Washington’s approval of the banking transactions involving Iranian funds in South Korea.

There has been no official comment from governments involved in the talks which have reportedly been mediated by Qatar.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency said in a video report on Sunday that the CBI had rejected a list of bank accounts introduced by the opposite parties for the transfer of the funds from South Korea.

That could clarify Qamarivafa’s statement about the banking issues that should be settled before the release of the funds finally takes place.

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