Wednesday 06 December 2023

Chief banker confirms deposit of some $6 billion in unfrozen funds into Iran accounts in Qatar

Central Bank of Iran Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin has confirmed that the Islamic Republic’s released funds totaling some $6 billion have now been transferred to Qatari banks.

Farzin announced on Monday the release of Iran's financial assets that had been blocked in South Korea and said the entire funds had been deposited into the accounts of six Iranian banks in Qatar’s Al Ahli and Al Dukhan banks.


The six Iranian banks namely Keshavarzi, Saman, Pasargad, Tourism, Karafarin and Shahr opened accounts in Qatar after the country’s funds in two South Korean banks in Seoul were transferred on August 10 to the account of Swiss National Bank (SNB) for conversion into euros.


“We received an official letter from the Qatari authorities yesterday, according to which the accounts of Iranian banks had been activated, and today, 5.573 billion and 492 thousand euros have been deposited into the accounts of six Iranian banks at two banks, Al Ahli and Al Dukhan,” the chief banker said.


Farzin underlined that the whole released funds are regarded as the foreign currency reserves of the Central Bank of Iran and backing for the Iranian Rial and will be spent in accordance with national interests and to strengthen the Rial.


“[The possibility of] access to the country’s foreign exchange resources is being pursued in several other countries and the results will be announced when finalized,” he added.


The release of Iran’s blocked assets came as a US-Iran prisoner swap deal took place earlier in the day.


Under a deal between Iran and the United States brokered by Qatar last month, the two sides agreed to exchange prisoners and to secure the release of some $6 billion of Iranian funds that had remained blocked in two South Korean banks since 2018 because of US pressure on Seoul.


The Biden administration also agreed to release five Iranian citizens held in the United States.


The five Iranian detainees were identified as Mehrdad Moein Ansari, Kambiz Attar Kashani, Reza Sarhangpour Kofrani, Amin Hassanzadeh, and Kaveh Lotfollah Afrasiabi.           

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