Japan transfers $1 billion in frozen oil money to Iran
Payment part of eased international sanctions regime in exchange for curbs in nuclear program
One billion dollars of frozen oil assets were transferred to Iran Thursday from the Central Bank of Iran’s Japan account, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said.
The money represents the first and second installments (out of six) totaling $2.8 billion in frozen petroleum assets to be released to Iran as part of a deal struck earlier this year with the P5+1 world powers, the agency reported.
That deal stipulated that Iran would continue to curb its controversial nuclear program, which Israel, the West and much of the Arab world say is leading to the Islamic Republic developing nuclear weapons capability, in exchange for a partial lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Also on Thursday, the European Union said that talks between Iran and the P5+1 powers will resume on New York on September 18.
EU spokesman Michael Mann said that preparatory meetings will be held in Vienna next week. Negotiators face a November 24 deadline to overcome stubborn differences over the size and capacity of enrichment activities Tehran would be allowed to maintain.
Outgoing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is coordinating the talks on behalf of the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
The talks have stalled over intense disagreements over the purpose of Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is aimed at peaceful purposes only.