US begins the multi million-euro return of funds to Iran

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Under the terms of an interim nuclear deal, the USA has allowed the transfer of $550 million – almost €407 million – in Iran’s frozen oil revenues to the country.

The US Treasury Department announced the transaction a day after Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Zarif gave a press conference in Berlin on the day news of the transfer broke.

“The best guarantee that could provide the assurance for everybody that Iran will never produce nuclear weapons is not limitation on Iran’s nuclear potential,” he said. “The best guarantee against a break out is to establish a type of relationship that it would be foolish to break out from.”

Extensive sanctions were placed on Iran by the US, linked to the western Asian country’s controversial nuclear programme.

But, Sunday’s meeting between Kerry and Zarif signalled a committed effort to solve the crisis.

America helped to facilitate the shift in funds, which began on January 31 and was expected to be completed a matter of days. However, no US banks were said to be involved.

The transfer is part of a six-month nuclear deal with the United Nations Security Council and Germany. In the deal, Iran agreed to curb its enrichment of uranium to a steady 20 percent and to convert or dilute its current stock, while continuing to enrich at lower levels.

In return, Iran will receive temporary relief from certain sanctions.

Over six months, the US and EU will make eight installments of a total of $4.2 billion, or €3.11 billion, of Iran’s previously-frozen assets.

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