Iran reminds UK to repay old debt

November 8, 2021 - 20:38

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss discussed bilateral issues, the Vienna nuclear talks and some regional issues in a telephone conversation on Monday.

The phone call came just 21 days before the resumption of the nuclear talks in Vienna for possible revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - the common name for the 2015 nuclear deal.

The chief Iranian diplomat reminded that most of the trade agreements between the two countries have not been implemented based on the JCPOA. 

Promotion of trade and the facilitation of financial relations between the two countries entails actions by London, Amir Abdollahian suggested.

Amir Abdollahian also stressed the need for immediate action by London to repay its debt to Iran as soon as possible.

The UK owes approximately £400m to the Iranian government coming from the non-delivery of Chieftain tanks ordered by the Shah of Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

In their first meeting on September 23, Amir Abdollahian reminded Truss that the United Kingdom must repay its debt. Truss acknowledged that Britain owed the sum but said sanctions made it impossible to pay Iran back. 

JCPOA can be successful if sanctions are lifted

The Iranian foreign minister also blamed the U.S. for the current situation surrounding the JCPOA. 

He also criticized Europe’s inaction, saying some European parties to the deal have also contributed to the current situation by refusing to fulfill their commitments and being silent in the face of U.S. actions.

Amir Abdollahian went to say that a success of nuclear talks in Vienna will rest on lifting all sanctions, a return of all parties to their commitments, as well as providing the necessary guarantees for implementation of what would be possibly agreed in Vienna and a verification of the other side's actions.

The top diplomat reminded that normalization of trade relations with Iran has been one of the commitments made by the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal and this issue should be a topic of the talks in Vienna.

For her part, the British Foreign Secretary wished immediate recovery of her Iranian counterpart from the coronavirus.

Expressing satisfaction with the announcement of the date for the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, Truss called on two fellow European countries (France and Germany) to make efforts to progress of the negotiations.

She said European parties to the JCPOA are serious about the nuclear deal talks. 

According to the Iranian foreign ministry website, some consular issues were also discussed during the phone conversation.

The two foreign ministers also discussed the need to send humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan and forming an inclusive government in the country. They also exchanged views about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen and the need to the siege on the country.

In the phone conversation the Iranian foreign minister also expressed support for stability in Lebanon and lamented continuation of human rights violations in Bahrain.

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