Iran’s frozen assets amount to $100B

Business Materials 26 December 2014 16:51 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, Dec. 26

By Temkin Jafarov, Milad Fashtami - Trend:

Iran has some $100 billion of frozen assets in different countries such as China, India, and Japan, head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-e Es'haq said.

He said Tehran can't use the frozen assets immediately, but added that the money belong to the government and can be used in the long term, Iran's ISNA News Agency reported on Dec. 26.

Following international sanctions imposed on Iran, some of the country's oil revenues were frozen in different countries including China India, Japan and South Korea.

According to Iran's Industry, Mine, and Trade Minister Mohammadreza Nematzadeh, some of the country's assets are also frozen in Sri Lanka and talks are underway to unfreeze them.

In November 2013, Iran announced that about $30 billion of its oil revenues have been blocked by Chinese banks due to the sanctions imposed on Tehran's banking system.

The two countries agreed over Chinese companies' financing of Iranian projects as an approach to return the blocked assets.

Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Chairman Asadollah Asgaroladi said on Dec. 16 that China has financed several Iranian projects.

Chinese firms signed $45 billion worth of oil and gas deals with Iran during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's term in office as Iran's president. But most of them were cancelled due to long delays on Chinese part.

It was previously reported that India intends to export goods to Iran to clear its oil debts. India is Iran's second biggest oil importer, next to China.

According to Reuters, five Indians refineries totally owe some $4.6 billion to Tehran.

Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council comprising of China, France, Russia, Britain, the US Plus Germany) sealed an interim deal in Geneva on November 24,2013 to pave the way for the full resolution of the West's decade-old dispute with Iran over the country's nuclear energy program.

The Geneva deal took effect on January 20 and expired on July 20.

However the two sides agreed to extend their talks for four months till Nov. 24 to reach a permanent deal on Iran's disputed nuclear program.

At a meeting held on November 24, 2014, the sides agreed to extend the talks for further seven months.

During the past year, some $7 billion of Iran's frozen assets in India, China, and south Korea have been released.

Based on the agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries, Iran will also receive $700 million of its frozen assets each month for the next six months.