Wednesday, December 7, 2022

MPs Optimistic about Oman’s Release of Iran’s Frozen Money

Iranian lawmakers are upbeat that in the light of improved relations between Iran and Oman, the latter would release the Islamic Republic’s frozen assets.

According to a Farsi report by ICANA, Iranian parliamentarians maintain that given close relations between Oman and Iran, Muscat would repay Iran’s money — some $5 billion — which had been transferred to the country freely on a monthly basis, but, then, was blocked there on the pretext of the target state’s inability to reimburse it.

Earlier, referring to cordial relations between Tehran and Muscat, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in an interview, “At the time of Western sanctions, Iran failed to tap the monetary resources it had deposited in a number of foreign banks as an advance payment for its future purchases, due to the problems the domestic economy was confronted with as well as its banking and financial bottlenecks. Now that the time has come to receive some of those assets, occurrence of minor disagreements would be likely which, of course, could be resolved through negotiations.”

Commenting on the same issue, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Valiollah Seif said earlier these payments are being made steadily.

This comes as, under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — signed between Tehran and P5+1 — Iran has transferred its enriched uranium resources to Oman, to be sold by the country. Thus, concerns are voiced by some in Iran over the reimbursement of the money Muscat receives for selling Iran’s uranium.

Iranian parliamentarians believe that although relations between Iran and Oman are established based on mutual trust, Tehran is required to devise a mechanism to dispel any doubt about Muscat’s repayment of Iran’s surplus uranium’s money as soon as possible.

Elaborating on this issue, Abolfazl Aboutorabi, an Iranian MP, said Oman has always had friendly and brotherly ties with Iran, adding, Oman’s ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said has always been a faithful companion to Iran in different regional issues.

“The two countries have a good understanding of each other’s concerns and situation which makes us anticipate that both sides would fulfil each other’s expectations.”

Expounding on this issue, another Iranian lawmaker, Ezzatollah Yousefian, stressed that Iran needs no third country for receiving its surplus uranium’s money from Oman.

Referring to Iran’s 5-billion-dollar assets currently frozen by Omani banks, he added in the pre-JCPOA era Muscat announced that it is not financially capable to pay the amount.

“Iran had not lent the money to Oman to expect their excuse about not being able to repay it. Nevertheless, given the two countries’ friendly ties, it is highly anticipated that efforts by Iran’s foreign ministry and CBI would lead to the reimbursement of the monetary assets.”

In addition, Farhad Falahati, an Iranian parliamentarian, stressed that Iran had transferred the money to Oman in the course of its nuclear negotiations with the West and currently, in the post-sanctions era, expects Muscat to honour its commitments on the Iranian assets.

“Although Iran has close ties with Oman, it is required to take precautions for the time when, though highly unlikely, their relations would be subject to damages. Reports by the Iranian Foreign Ministry say apparently, we have no problem for receiving the money from Oman.”

Ali Bakhtiar, another Iranian parliament member, said Oman has always had friendly relations with Iran at the time of sanctions and in the post-JCPOA era, adding, however, to demonstrate its commitment to the Iranian nation, it is required to observe international law.

“In case Iran signs a memorandum of understanding with Oman as soon as possible, we will be extremely upbeat that the money would be reimbursed by Muscat. This is highly likely in view of the two countries’ close relations.”

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