In an unexpected step, Baghdad announced the release of $3 billion of Iranian funds frozen in its banks under US sanctions. What is the secret behind this and what is the impact of this measure on the nuclear agreement between Iran and the United States?
This step comes after Tehran’s denial of news that it will soon reach an agreement with Washington to lift some sanctions in return for imposing restrictions on its nuclear program, stressing – Iran – that there is no interim agreement alternative to the nuclear agreement on the agenda.
In an explanation of this sudden action, Joseph Cirincione, a former member of the advisory board of the US Secretary of State and chief researcher at the Quincy Institute, indicated that Iraq owed Iran $2.7 billion in energy bills, but was unable to pay it due to US sanctions, which made him appeal to America. To agree to release this amount.
Cirincione said in statements to the “Beyond the News” program on 10/6/2023 that Tehran’s decision to partially stop supplying energy to Baghdad prompted Washington to agree to Baghdad’s release of 3 billion dollars of Iranian funds in Iraqi banks, and he did not rule out that the American decision would be In the context of showing goodwill to Tehran, seeking to encourage it to reach an agreement on uranium enrichment, he also expected South Korea to take the same step taken by Iraq, with American blessing as well.
However, the researcher specializing in regional and strategic issues, Hussein Royoran, considered that the release of part of Iran’s money abroad comes in the context of an alternative plan that is being implemented on the ground, after the Vienna negotiations reached a dead end and the military plan against Iran entered into a crisis, according to the statement. Saying it.
He explained that the essence of the alternative plan is based on a partial mutual commitment from the two parties without a declaration or signature.
He added that on the European level, Iran is demanding to have a financial platform through which it can carry out its banking transactions at the international level, and he expressed his belief that the Europeans will have a major role in the commitments that will be agreed upon.
Royoran explained that Tehran is calling on America to return to the 2015 agreement, which Washington completely rejects, and it is also calling for a complete lifting of all sanctions within the framework of the Vienna negotiations, while Washington cannot return to the agreement, and therefore this pressure was relieved with an alternative plan far from any public commitment from the two parties.
Iranian reports had said that Tehran would soon get $24 billion from its frozen assets abroad. Local Iranian media said $7 billion in South Korea would be among the released amounts. The local media indicated that 10 billion dollars would be the amount that would be released from Iraq.
Iran may also get about $7 billion in dues, thanks to negotiations between it and the International Monetary Fund.
In April of last year, Tehran announced the release of a large part of the frozen Iranian assets after reaching an agreement independent of the nuclear deal.