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Iran, US agree to mechanism to unblock Iran’s funds in South Korea: Report

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)
A report suggests the US has agreed to a mechanism that will unblock Iranian funds in South Korea.

The United States and Iran have reached an understanding about how to unblock billions of dollar worth of Iranian funds that have remained inaccessible in two banks in South Korea because of US sanctions, according to a new report.

The Monday report by Nournews, a website close to Iran’s top security body the SNSC, said that Iran and United States have agreed that some $7 billion worth of Iranian funds in South Korea will be transferred to an account in a bank in the Middle East as part of an understanding that will also involve a prisoner swap between the two countries.

“The only obstacle in this regard was to identify an account and a servicing bank acceptable to the parties, which according to the news delivered to the Nournews, this bank has been identified in one of the regional countries and the two sides have agreed on the bank,” said the report.

It came a day after Nournews claimed that Iran will soon access its blocked funds in an unidentified country that have been complying with unilateral US sanctions since they were imposed in 2018.

However, the Monday report said that South Korea will be the country unblocking the Iranian funds while it insisted that the release would be directly linked to a pending prisoner swap between Iran and the United States that will involve the release of Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-US national convicted of espionage charges in Iran some seven years ago.

The report said, however, that the recent release of Baqer Namazi, Siamak Namazi's father, has been motivated by humanitarian reasons and had nothing to do with the new understanding between Iran and the US.

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