Iran says UK is considering 400 million debt repayment

Ambassador says British officials visited Tehran last week to negotiate a historic 1970 arms deal

The Iranian ambassador to London said British government officials were in Tehran last week to discuss legal ways to repay Britain’s historic debt of 400 400 million to Iran.

UK loan

Mohsen Baharvand added that he was in direct discussion with the Foreign Ministry and that the problems were not insurmountable.

The UK Foreign Office has refused to discuss details of payments made to Iran or to settle a 400 million debt from arms sales to Iran since the 1970s.

The families of the twin British nationals detained in Iran have repeatedly stated that they believe their family members will be held hostage until the debt is paid. Former Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt has said he does not believe the dual UK citizens will be released until the debt is paid off.

Speaking to reporters in London on Friday, Baharwant said that Iran and the UK were close to a loan agreement this summer: “We wanted to use this agreement to ask our people that we have a good sign from the UK. Our efforts to help dual citizens and things like that. Then we made a deal. We signed it, but two days after the agreement was signed, the UK government said it could not implement it due to US sanctions, “he said.

“We are trying. We should not be so pessimistic. We can work with our colleagues in the Foreign Ministry to reach this agreement. We are discussing. There was a UK delegation in Iran last week. Personally I was talking to the Foreign Office and I hope we can come to an agreement.

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A credit challenge

“This is not aid,” he said, referring to reports that the money could be used as humanitarian aid. We have our money, we need our money. It’s very simple. We want to get our money. We do not insist on interest. Otherwise, it would be in the billions. We are in discussions with our British colleagues about a possible channel for transferring this money to our accounts.

When asked if the United States could provide a letter of assurance to the UK to ensure that the money would not be allowed to be paid, he said: “The United States has not done that. They must help the British government to do that. This is not impossible. Obstacles are insurmountable, but we must discuss, negotiate and We need to find a way.We are now deliberating through which channel this money will be transferred.Now there is a negotiation process.

He emphasized that the release of prisoners was a matter of “Iranian justice” and could not be confused with the larger issue of the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna.

Responding to the Iranian ambassador’s comments, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are continuing to explore options for resolving this 40-year-old case and will not comment further as discussions continue.”

Foreign Office sources pointed out that the UK recognizes that Iran has a legal debt, but said there is no point in linking the broader bilateral issues that have been unfairly treated in Iran.

The UK’s priority is the immediate release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz.

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Conversation for solution

Authorities said it was Iran’s gift to do the right thing and allow British citizens to reunite with their families.

At a question-and-answer session of the House of Commons this week, Secretary of State Lizard Trump acknowledged that the UK loan had been repaid. He met the families of two prisoners, Zachary-Radcliffe and Assyria, both dual Iranian-British citizens.

Richard Radcliffe, husband of Zachary-Radcliffe, said: “This is a positive sign. It seems to us that Iran is trying to push this over the border, but the UK is very careful about what the problems are with the payments, so we do not know what we did not do. Do not know.

“Our lawyers believe that US sanctions will not prevent payments. There may be political issues with the United States. All EU sanctions banning payments have now become UK sanctions, so the UK can certify that debt defaults do not violate UK sanctions.

“But Nassan is in danger, and now it’s the sixth Christmas our family has been separated – it’s been a long time. I’m afraid I’m more pessimistic than last Christmas.

Sherry Izadi, the wife of an Assyrian detained at Evin Prison in Tehran, said: “We hope the FCDO will inform us of this development, and we hope that this report is true and that we are one step closer to the return of our loved one. . In these months of darkness and despair, it is the first true ray of sunlight.

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