US isn’t blocking Iranian assets abroad – State Department
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19
By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:
The U.S. Government is fulfilling its obligations under the nuclear agreement and is not blocking Iran's access to its released assets, US State Department's Persian Language Spokesperson Alan Eyre told Trend on April 19.
The United States Secretary of State John Kerry was quoted by media outlets on April 19 as saying that Iran has received only $3 billion of its money since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) implementation in mid-January.
Some Iranian authorities and media criticized the US, raising concerns that Washington is somehow "blocking" access to banking operations for other countries' companies.
Responding to the question "is the US acting according to its JCPOA obligations?" Eyre said "first, Let me be crystal clear: we are not blocking Iran's access to their own funds, and we are not encouraging banks or other partners to do so".
He said, "We think Iran has about $50 billion in assets held abroad unfrozen by the JCPOA and that most of that will be used for needed investments in Iran's economy. That is exactly what seems to be happening. I don't think anyone would have expected that Iran would use all $50 billion abroad in three months".
This American diplomat, who also served as a member of the US nuclear negotiator team with Iran, added that "secondly, the JCPOA needs to be worthwhile and to work for all participants. Just as we and the rest of the international community have seen benefits from the JCPOA, so too has Iran. Its oil sales have more than doubled, major contracts have been signed, and its access to international banks through the SWIFT system has been restored. This is as it should be".
Eyre added that "thirdly, we are not standing and will not stand in the way of legitimate business with Iran, the kinds of transactions permitted in the JCPOA, and if banks or other firms have any questions, we are happy to answer them".
"In fact, Secretary (of the Treasury) Jack Lew and Secretary Kerry have sent our teams to meet with partner governments and businesses to clarify what is now allowed; we have issued new licenses to reduce the regulatory burden of taking advantage of legitimate, post-JCPOA opportunities in Iran. We will continue to meet not just the letter but also the spirit of our commitments," Eyre added.