Breaking the ice: Iran receives first installment of $4.2b frozen oil revenue

421Following the implementation of a nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers, Tehran has received the first installment of its $4.2-billion funds previously blocked overseas, an Iranian diplomat said. “The first installment of the $4.2-billion of Iran’s blocked oil revenues was transferred to a designated Swiss bank account on February 1,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said.

The senior Iranian nuclear negotiator added that the money would be transferred to The Central Bank of Iran after the weekend on Monday. Iran and the six major world powers - Russia, China, the US, France, Britain and Germany — inked a nuclear accord in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013.

The two sides have agreed to start implementing the agreement as of January 20. Under the Geneva accord, the six countries agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building measure to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities for a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran within the same time frame.

On January 12, Araqchi said $4.2 billion of Iranian frozen assets would be released in eight stages and Tehran, in return, would oxidize its 20-percent-enriched uranium within a year. He added that both Tehran and the six powers would proceed to implement the Geneva deal in a balanced way.

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