Iran to access $7 bn in frozen assets 'within weeks': reports

Iran to access $7 bn in frozen assets 'within weeks': reports
Iranian state media has reported that an agreement to unlock billions of dollars in frozen foreign assets was in its final stages.
2 min read
11 April, 2022
State media has said the transfer will reportedly take place within weeks [Getty- file photo]

A part of frozen Iranian foreign assets is expected to be released "soon", Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has confirmed, according to a report by semi-official ISNA on Monday.

A high-ranking delegation is expected to visit the Islamic republic by the end of this week to finalise plans to release billions of dollars of frozen assets, the diplomat said in comments to the agency.

Funds totalling $7 billion will be deposited in Iranian accounts abroad, an informed source at the central bank of Iran was quoted by IRNA as saying, adding that the transfer will happen "in weeks".

Iran has more than $7 billion in funds for oil shipments held in two South Korean banks due to US sanctions imposed on Tehran after former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

However, in a news conference held on Monday, Khatibzadeh denied any serious development regarding the release of the assets held in South Korea.

He also dismissed a report on a foreign visit scheduled for Tuesday in this regard, stressing that no visit has been planned for the date.

On the weekend, reports circulated of a potential visit by Omani foreign minister to Tehran, in part of discuss the release of the assets in South Korea. Other reports suggested upcoming visits by a Qatari official and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein to Iran.

Last week, an anonymous source was cited by Iranian Farhikhtegan daily saying that Tehran will release three Iranian-American nationals in exchange for the release of Iranian assets frozen in South Korea.

In March, the UK released some $530m of its debt to Iran as two British-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran were set free.

Both Iran and the UK deny the release of the prisoners was related to the payment of the debt.

Tehran has been engaged in long-running negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna to revive the nuclear deal - known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - with the UK, China, France, Germany and Russia directly, and indirectly, the US.