| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Iran asked US to unfreeze $10 billion to show good will: Iran FM

Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Saturday that US officials tried to negotiate restarting nuclear talks last month, but he urged Washington to first release $10 billion of Tehran’s frozen funds as a sign of good will.

Iran has denied direct talks with the US, and indirect talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear accord aimed at keeping Iran from being able to develop a nuclear weapon stopped in June.

The US used intermediaries at the United Nations last month to try to make contact, Amirabdollahian told state television.

Iran has been unable to receive tens of billions of dollars of its assets in foreign banks, mainly from exports of oil and gas, due to US sanctions on its banking and energy sectors.

“The Americans tried to contact us through different channels (at the UN General Assembly) in New York, and I told the mediators if America’s intentions are serious then a serious indication was required… by releasing at least $10 billion of blocked money,” the minister said.

“They are not willing to free $10 billion belonging to the Iranian nation so that we can say that the Americans once in the past several decades considered the interests of the Iranian nation,” Amirabdollahian said in the TV interview.

Western powers have insisted Iran to return to talks and said time is running out as Tehran’s nuclear program is improving well beyond the limits set by the deal.

Amirabdollahian reiterated that Iran would “soon” return to the stalled nuclear talks in Vienna, declining to give a date.

Tehran says its nuclear steps are reversible if Washington lifts all sanctions. Iranian and Western officials have said many issues remain to be resolved before the accord can be revived.

  • alarabiya