Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on Tehran’s trade partners to fulfil their legal and ethical commitments towards the Islamic Republic.
Otherwise, the president said, scepticism will grow among public opinion regarding the future of Iran’s relations with these countries.
Rouhani made the comments in a Wednesday cabinet session, after he was briefed on the outcomes of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s trip to China and the visit of Iran’s top banker Abdolnasser Hemmati to Baghdad, where he discussed Iran’s frozen assets in Iraq.
The president expressed pleasure with the achievements of these visits, and tasked all government officials to pursue returning Iran’s money from other countries.
On Monday, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran said his negotiations with the Iraqi officials had yielded “positive” results, and the Arab country had given its approval to release Iran’s frozen assets for the purchase of basic commodities.
Hemmati said he held a trilateral meeting with Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef and Chairman of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) Salem Jawad Abdul Hadi Al-Jalabi during his visit to Baghdad.
The Iraqi authorities have agreed to release Iran’s frozen funds for the purchase of basic commodities after extensive talks on trade exchanges, Hemmati added, noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran holds remarkable financial sources in the Iraqi banks earned by the export of electricity and gas.
Under the new agreement, the main obstacle to the release of Iran’s assets in the executive sphere has been removed, as the Central Bank of Iraq and the TBI face no more restrictions, he added.
The assets held in Iraq belong to the Central Bank of Iran, which is the main supplier of the basic demands in various sectors such as industry, agriculture and healthcare, he explained, saying Tehran would begin to withdraw money from those funds according to its needs.
The commodities that are categorized as basic needs are exempted from the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, the Iranian official noted.
Also on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Zarif held a phone conversation with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi, during which he urged the Japanese top diplomat to prevent the US from blocking Iran’s assets.
“Iran expects the government of Japan to prevent such unlawful American measure within the framework of the general commitment of countries to the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, including the Resolution 2231,” Zarif added.
Foreign Minister Zarif stressed that Iran should be able to use its foreign currency resources held in Japan, condemned the US regime’s illegal restriction on Tehran’s access to those funds, and denounced the limits preventing the purchase of medicine and foodstuff for the Iranian people as a crime against humanity.