Iran urged US to release $ 10 billion for goodwill, Iranian official says
DUBAI, Oct. 2 (Reuters) – Iran’s Foreign Minister said on Saturday that US officials tried to discuss resuming nuclear talks last month, but insisted Washington must first unlock 10 billion dollars in frozen funds from Tehran as a sign of goodwill.
Iran rejected direct talks with the United States, and indirect talks on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon were halted in June.
The United States used intermediaries at the United Nations last month to try to make contact, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on state television.
Iran has been unable to secure tens of billions of dollars of its assets in foreign banks, mostly oil and gas exports, due to US sanctions on its banking and energy sectors.
“The Americans tried to contact us through various channels (at the United Nations General Assembly) in New York, and I told the mediators that if America’s intentions were serious, serious indication was needed… by releasing at least $ 10 billion in stranded money, “the minister said.
“They are unwilling to release $ 10 billion belonging to the Iranian nation so that we can say that once in the last decades Americans have considered the interests of the Iranian nation,” Amirabdollahian said in the television interview.
Western powers have urged Iran to resume negotiations and said time is running out as Tehran’s nuclear program advances well beyond the limits set by the deal.
Amirabdollahian reiterated that Iran would return “soon” to stalled nuclear talks in Vienna, declining to give a date. Read more
Tehran says its nuclear measures are reversible if Washington lifts all sanctions. Iranian and Western officials have said many issues remain to be resolved before the deal can be revived.
Dubai newsroom report; Editing by Cynthia Osterman
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