Friday, July 12, 2024

US says Iran’s blocked funds to be transferred to Qatar ‘in coming days’

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller has stated that Iran's frozen assets will expectedly be transferred to the "final destination" in Qatar in the "coming days or so".

Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Miller did not give the exact details of the transactions and just said that “they move from South Korea, through banks in Europe, ultimately to these end accounts in Qatar.”

In response to a question about the amount of the assets that Iran had now access to and could spend, which had been held in India, Turkey, Japan and South Korea, he said the US does not have “perfect” visibility into the accounts and how they were being used.

The spokesman, however, explained that Washington does have information to conclude that they were “spent down by billions of dollars, in some cases all the way to zero.”

Meanwhile, he stated Washington has complete visibility into the accounts in Qatar and is able to “lock them down” if it sees that Iran is attempting to take actions that are in violation of the agreement between the two sides and breach the US sanctions.

“I’m not going to get into what the exact technical details are, but we have the full agreement to stop their access to this account going forward,” he added.

On Monday, President Joe Biden’s administration issued a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets from South Korea to Qatar with no concern about Washington’s sanctions.

In an exclusive interview with the American broadcast television network NBC on Tuesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stressed Tehran’s full authority on its recently-released assets, saying it is the Islamic Republic that decides how to spend the funds and that the money will be spent “wherever we need it.”

He added, “This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money.”

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