Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Iranian nuclear | Tehran asks Washington for 10 billion before negotiations

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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(Tehran) Strangled by economic sanctions, Iran is demanding $10 billion in frozen assets from the United States to gauge America’s “real intentions” in Iran’s nuclear negotiations stalled since June.

If Americans “have real intentions [de sauver l’accord]Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, said on Saturday evening, in an interview with state television, “They release part of our assets, for example $10 billion frozen in foreign banks, and return them to Iran.”

The United States reinstated economic sanctions against Iran after unilaterally withdrawing from the international Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

That agreement, concluded in Vienna in 2015, offered Tehran relief from Western and UN sanctions in exchange for a commitment not to acquire atomic weapons and a significant reduction in its nuclear program, placing it under strict UN oversight.

Iran, which has gradually abandoned its commitments after the US withdrawal, plans to sue South Korea, which was angered by Seoul’s refusal to pay about eight billion dollars in debt to buy oil.

American pressure [sur la Corée du Sud] It is true, but we cannot continue to look good and turn a blind eye to this issue,” Mr. Amir Abdollahian insisted.

Iranian funds deposited in two Korean banks have been blocked despite repeated requests from Tehran for their release. Iranian MP Alireza Salimi told AFP on Sunday that these funds frozen for three years amount to 7.8 billion dollars and come from Iranian oil exports.

The foreign minister said that if Seoul did not take swift action, Tehran would not prevent the Central Bank of Iran from suing South Korea over the dispute, adding that he raised the issue on Thursday with his Korean counterpart.

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“The Korean side is concerned about our intention to file a complaint. I told him that it is unacceptable for our people to wait three years, and empty words will not solve the problem. Iran should have quick access to its money,” the Iranian minister said.

Talks between Tehran and major powers still party to the deal have stalled since June.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said his country had been “in good faith for several months” in the talks, in which the United States is indirectly involved, putting the onus of action on the Iranians.

“But the Americans are not ready to open [les avoirs gelés] So we can make sure that they take into account the interests of the Iranian people,” the Iranian foreign minister responded.

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