MP says Iran’s assets not released but handed to other countries

July 17, 2021 - 20:36

TEHRAN— In an interview with the Fars news agency on Saturday, MP Hossein Ali Haji Deligani said an unfreezing of Iranian assets is achieved when the control of these assets is in the hands of the Islamic Republic, not when these assets are released and given to South Korea and Japan.

"According to the formal announcement of the American officials, these assets have been released but they cannot be transferred to Iran and only Korean and Japanese companies can use them," Haji Deligani remarked.

The member of the presiding board of the parliament stated that Iran's assets have been released in Korea and Japan and given to the companies of these two countries to sell their goods and products to Iran without any hassle and well away from any competitive market.

According to a report by the Yonhap news agency published on July 11, South Korea is seeking to use a Swiss channel backed by the U.S. in a bid to use part of the money for Swiss companies' sale of humanitarian items to Iran.

Iran has called on Korea to unlock more than $7 billion of its forex assets held due to the U.S. economic blockade, stressing that unlocking the assets is a priority in mutually respectful bilateral ties.  

Haji Deligani pointed out, "This action not only is not the release of assets but also a means that has handed out Iranian assets to other countries."

He added that Iran’s foreign policy officials should be smart about this way of unfreezing Iran's assets and not accept it in any way as the release of the Islamic Republic’s funds by the U.S.

“As I said, this is not the release of our funds but our country's assets in South Korea and Japan is in the hands of these two countries, not in our hands; and on the other hand, our foreign policy officials must react to the fact that our country's assets have been given to the other two countries,” he reiterated. 

Following talks with the South Korean ambassador to Tehran in February, the former head of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnasser Hemmati, said the two sides had reached an agreement on using "part" of Iran’s assets held in that country.

Soon after, the Foreign Ministry in Seoul said the assets would be released after consultations with the Americans. Unnamed Foreign Ministry officials then told Korean news outlets that Washington had “agreed in principle” on the partial transfer of Iranian funds to Switzerland, from where it could be used via the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA).

SA/PA

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