US Cash Payment Not a Concession

US Cash Payment Not a ConcessionUS Cash Payment Not a Concession

A lawmaker said $1.7 billion that the United States sent in January in cash is not considered a concession, as the US only paid what it owed to Iran.

“The settlement of Iran debt by the US is not a concession and it has just given back what rightfully belonged to Iran,” Masoud Goudarzi also told ICANA on Friday.

Iran released an American and four dual national detainees on January 16 after the United States agreed to grant clemency to seven Iranians held mostly for sanctions violations and drop charges against 14 Iranians overseas.

The payment coincided with the release of the prisoners and the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran as part of a historic nuclear deal reached last year.

Goudarzi denied the claim that the payment was linked to the nuclear accord and said it was Iran’s right that the US clear its multibillion dollar debt and the Islamic Republic will never relinquish its inalienable right.

“The US is trying to tie the payment of its debts to the JCPOA for political gains,” he said, using the formal title of the landmark nuclear agreement.

The cash payment settled a longstanding Iranian claim at the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands, releasing $400 million in funds frozen since 1981, plus $1.3 billion in interest that was owed to Iran.

The funds were part of a trust fund Iran used before its 1979 Islamic Revolution to buy US military equipment that was tied up for decades in litigation at the tribunal, Reuters reported.

US Republicans opposed to the action plan have attacked President Barack Obama over the payment, describing it as a ransom and a further sign of his administration’s feckless dealings with Tehran.

The US administration has denied this, asserting that the transfer was negotiated on a separate track from JCPOA.