Iran has announced the release of $10 billion of its frozen funds in South Korea and Iraq as part of a prisoner swap deal with the United States.
This was reported Friday by the official Iranian news agency, “IRNA”, after interviewing an official source familiar with the matter.
“A well-informed official source revealed the details of the agreement between Tehran and Washington concluded with the mediation of a third country (Qatar, editor’s note) which provides for the exchange of prisoners between the two countries and the release of Iranian assets. frozen in South Korea and Iraq,” IRNA said.
According to the official source quoted by IRNA, “the agreement also provides for the exchange of five American prisoners in Iran for five Iranian prisoners held in the United States”.
The source added that “In addition, $6 billion corresponding to Iranian assets frozen in South Korea will be released, as well as a large part of Tehran’s financial assets in the Iraqi bank TBI”.
She also said that “the first steps in the process of transferring frozen Iranian funds to a European bank are underway”, according to IRNA.
The same source explains that Iranian funds in South Korea will be transferred to a bank in Switzerland where they will be exchanged for euros, before being sent to a bank account in Qatar to be made available to Tehran.
“According to this agreement, American prisoners will not be able to leave Iran until the money released has been deposited in the accounts indicated by Iran”, she added, explaining that “the prisoner swap operation will take place in Doha after Iran verifies its ability to withdraw its money from its accounts in Qatar”.
For his part, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference in Washington: “My belief is that this is the beginning of the end of their (prisoners’) nightmare”.
“This is only a first step, and a lot of work remains to be done before bringing them home,” he said.
And the head of the American diplomacy to add: “Iran will not benefit from any relief from the sanctions (…) The funds will be placed in restricted accounts to ensure that they cannot be used in violation of the sanctions against Tehran”.
“We have received confirmation that Iran has released five unjustly detained Americans from jail and placed them under house arrest,” said U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson. .
“The White House has nothing to communicate at this time on this subject because negotiations for their final release are still ongoing and remain delicate,” Watson added in a statement.
This article is originally published on aa.com.tr