Monday, October 2, 2023

The US has indicated that it has begun transferring funds to Iran in exchange for prisoners

The United States confirmed on Tuesday that the transfer of $6 billion in frozen funds to Iran that Washington had authorized in exchange for the release of five American detainees had begun.

“They are not in Qatar yet. I don’t want to talk about what stage of the process they are at, other than to say that they are in the process of transitioning. And I don’t want to put a calendar on it,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a press conference.

The waiver given by the US authorities for the transfer of these funds – from the debts incurred for the purchase of gas – was announced in Congress this Monday and is part of a plan to release the five Americans detained in Iran.

“Tough decisions have to be made when it comes to bringing back American citizens, but the president (Joe Biden) and Secretary of State (Antony Blinken) have decided that the first priority is to bring them back,” Miller said.

The funds were transferred from banks in South Korea to Switzerland for exchange from Korean currency to euros and later sent to various accounts in Qatar, which acted as an intermediary.

The waiver authorized by Washington means that foreign banks cannot violate US sanctions by transferring the frozen funds, which can only be used in Iran for humanitarian purposes.

“No one is giving a dollar to Iran here. They are Iranian funds,” the State Department spokesman emphasized.

Miller recalled that Iran is not a country with which the United States has a relationship of trust and therefore emphasized that they will monitor the process “carefully.” He also declined to speculate on the possibility that Iran would use the money to finance the war in Ukraine.

“We remain concerned about all destructive activities and will continue to monitor and take measures to limit these activities in the coming months and years,” he added to the press.

The spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Naser Kananí, was optimistic this Monday about the exchange of prisoners, which he said will take place “in the near future,” after the transfer of $ 6 billion is completed.

“For planning purposes, no movement on the release of the Americans should be expected this week,” Miller concluded in Washington on Tuesday.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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