September 24, 2023

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Release of funds indicative of Iran active diplomacy: MP

TEHRAN – Iranian lawmaker Muslim Salehi has praised the diplomatic efforts of the Ebrahim Raisi administration, saying its active diplomacy led to the unfreezing of Iranian assets in South Korea. 

“Before the sanctions, South Korea was one of the biggest buyers of Iran’s crude oil, which refused to pay Iran’s money under the pretext of Trump-era sanctions and the country’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement,” Salehi said in remarks to IRNA. “The bilateral relations between South Korea and Iran have been strained in recent years due to the blocking of Iranian assets, and resolving this issue [frozen assets] can help improve Tehran-Seoul relations.”

He stated, “The release of money and assets of the Islamic Republic of Iran shows the active diplomacy of the 13th government [Raisi administration], which was able to release several billion dollars of Iranian assets away from the media hype.”

Salehi also said the release of Iran’s funds will help stabilize the Iranian currency market. 

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has highlighted Iran’s ongoing attempts to reverse the unjust sanctions, emphasizing that Tehran hasn’t abandoned diplomatic and negotiating efforts.

His remarks followed a confirmation by the Foreign Ministry that $6 billion of Iranian funds that have been illegally frozen in South Korea because of U.S. sanctions are being released under an agreement between Iran and the U.S. brokered by Qatar and Oman.

The ministry underscored that releasing the funds has consistently been on its agenda, noting that these funds were “illegally blocked” under the pretext of “overseas banks’ concerns about America’s oppressive sanctions.”

The statement added, “In addition to the unfreezing of the financial resources that were illegally seized, safeguarding the rights of Iranians worldwide is a fundamental duty of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As part of this commitment, the diplomatic apparatus has pursued the release of several innocent Iranian prisoners who have been unlawfully detained in the United States for years under false accusations of circumventing American sanctions. The release of these prisoners will be realized in the near future.”

On Saturday, an Iranian lawmaker said that Iran did not make concessions to unfreeze its funds.

The lawmaker, Fada Hossein Maleki, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said, “Now, the release of parts of Iran’s money that is blocked in Korea, America and other countries is being implemented without taking into account making concessions.”

The U.S. also confirmed the agreement with Iran. Under the new agreement, Iran’s funds will be transferred from South Korea to Qatar.

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