‘Iran’s frozen funds returning via Chinese channel with West’s nod’

APA

A senior Iranian lawmaker on Friday said the release of Iran’s frozen assets overseas has received “green signal” from Western powers and is on its way to the country through a Chinese channel, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Ali Alizadeh, the secretary of Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, in an interview with a local news agency Shafaqna on Friday said the frozen funds were on their way to Iran through a Chinese channel, instead of the European INSTEX channel.

Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is a trade mechanism between Iran and Europe floated in January 2019 to bypass US sanctions and continue trade.

The lawmaker said the countries that have frozen Iran’s funds worth billions of dollars had shown readiness to return it, but have been waiting to see the outcome of ongoing nuclear deal talks in Vienna.

He stressed that the Western powers have given their go-ahead to the move, although they are not in favor of it being publicized through media.

The West’s green light, Alizadeh went on to say, will also allow for hassle-free sale of Iranian oil and transfer of its money back to Iran, which he said can motivate the parties in Vienna to conclude the negotiations.

Iran has around $100 to $120 billion blocked in foreign countries, including South Korea, Iraq, Japan, Canada, among others. The funds were frozen soon after the former US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran.

Earlier this week, Seoul paid Iran’s $18 million UN dues from its frozen funds in South Korea, a move that was approved by the US Treasury Department. It came days after the top South Korean diplomat held talks with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator in Vienna.

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