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US allows Iran to use frozen funds to pay debts

The graffiti on the walls of the former Tehran Embassy building in the capital city of Tehran is seen on 9 November 2020 in Tehran, Iran. [Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]
The graffiti on the walls of the former Tehran Embassy building in the capital city of Tehran is seen on 9 November 2020 in Tehran, Iran. [Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]

The US announced on Wednesday that it would allow Iran to use frozen funds to pay off its debts to South Korea and Japan.

The move comes in light of the ongoing talks to save the 2015 international nuclear agreement, which has lifted long-imposed US sanctions on Tehran.

Under the US sanctions, foreign companies that deal with Iranian bank accounts could face legal penalties from US authorities.

However, the US State Department earlier confirmed that the Japanese and South Korean companies could receive payments from US-targeted Iranian bank accounts to pay for the products exported before the administration of former President Donald Trump re-tightened sanctions in 2019.

"To be clear: The waiver does not allow for the transfer of any funds to Iran," the State Department's spokesperson told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

South Korea, and to a lesser extent Japan, has billions of dollars frozen in Iran due to the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

READ: Iran confirms prisoner swap talks with US

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Asia & AmericasIranJapanMiddle EastNewsSouth KoreaUS
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