Baku, Azerbaijan, July 19
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said that an additional $2.8 billion worth of Iranian frozen assets will be released during the next four months, the period of extended nuclear talks.
Araqchi who is deputy foreign minister for Legal and International Affairs said that the assets are scheduled to be released is 6 stages from August in 20-day periods, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on July 19.
Iran's Central Bank will receive the assets in 4 stages of $500 million and two stages of $400 million during the period, Araqchi remarked.
It should be noted that the country has already gained access to $4.2 billion of its oil revenues frozen abroad by eight money transfers under a six-month interim nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1(the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) which took effect on Jan. 20.
July 20 was settled as a deadline for comprehensive nuclear deal by the interim agreement, however the two sides agreed to continue talking for four more months after failing to meet the deadline to reach a deal on curbing the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for ending sanctions.
Despite permitting Iran to receive new payments of its frozen assets the U.S. officials warned that most sanctions against the Islamic Republic would remain in place, Reuters reported on July 19.
"Iran will not get any more money during these four months than it did during the last six months, and the vast majority of its frozen oil revenues will remain inaccessible," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement released in Vienna on July 19.
"We will continue to vigorously enforce the sanctions that remain in place," he added.
In exchange for the $2.8 billion, Kerry said, Iran has agreed to continue neutralizing its most sensitive uranium stocks- uranium that has been enriched to a level of 20 percent purity - by converting it to fuel for a research reactor in Tehran that is used to make medical isotopes.
Iranian media outlets quoted Abbas Araqchi as confirming the issue.
Araqchi went on to say that 25 kilograms of uranium oxide will be converted to fuel in next four months.
The details and steps which will be carried out during the four-month period are included in a non-paper agreement between the two sides, he added.
The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon - something that Iran denies. The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical research instead.