The released funds would be deposited into Iran’s accounts, paving the way for the easing of restrictions related to the country’s banking.
A ‘high-ranking Qatari delegation’ has met with Iranian officials in Tehran to review mechanisms for the release of some of its frozen funds, the Islamic Republic’s Borna news agency reported.
The Iranian assets were blocked when the US imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018, when it unilaterally pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iranian funds have also been frozen in several countries, including China, South Korea and Japan.
Qatar has been playing a mediating role between the US and Iran at the two countries’ request in an effort to restore the 2015 nuclear accord.
According to Borna, the meeting was attended by officials from Qatar and Iran’s foreign ministry and the latter’s economic governmental bodies.
Doha News has contacted authorities in Qatar to learn more about the meetings and have yet to receive a response on the matter.
The latest meeting came after Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced on Monday that an agreement over unfreezing some of the country’s resources has been reached.
Speaking to a weekly press briefing, Khatibzadeh said that the framework to unblock the foreign assets “has been determined and agreed”. He also stated that a high-ranking delegation is expected to visit Iran by the end of the week to finalise the plan over unblocking the funds.
It remains unclear whether the delegation is the same as the one from Qatar that Borna has claimed visited the country.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian confirmed that a preliminary deal has been reached “with a foreign bank”, without disclosing further information on the agreement.
Iran’s Tasnim news agency has also reported that the deal focuses on assets that are worth more than $7 billion, and are believed to be in South Korea.
The money would be deposited into Iran’s accounts, paving the way for the easing of restrictions related to the country’s banking.
Indirect talks between the US and Iran aimed at restoring the JCOPA took place last year in Vienna. Western powers from what is known is as the ‘p4+1’, that’s the UK, France, China, Russia plus Germany, attended the negotiations.
The first rounds yielded no progress as Iran insisted on the lifting of sanctions and the US called on it to reduce its nuclear activity. Despite withdrawing from the accord, Washington has long accused Tehran of not fulfilling its obligations of the JCPOA.
More hopeful statements have emerged since the start of this year over the revival of the nuclear accord, with officials hinting that a deal is imminent.
Last week, reports stated that the US and Iran were reaching an agreement over a partial lifting of sanctions.
Iran has also been demanding the removal of its paramilitary group, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), from the US Foreign Terrorist Organisations list. The IRGC was added to the list in 2019.
Heavyweight mediator Qatar has been calling for the restoration of the nuclear accord and lifting of sanctions.
“We believe that the economic sanctions need to be lifted and the country [Iran] needs relief because of the people and this is the livelihood of the Iranian people, it’s not punishing a government,” Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told the CNN last month.