US Ban on Cash Payment Would Violate JCPOA Spirit

US Ban on Cash Payment Would Violate JCPOA SpiritUS Ban on Cash Payment Would Violate JCPOA Spirit

A bill recently approved by the House of Representatives to prohibit the US administration from making cash payments to Iran would run counter to the spirit of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, an Iranian lawmaker said.

It was passed by a wide margin, 254-163, on September 22 but has yet to get through the Senate and survive a presidential veto to become law and would also require that Congress be notified before any future claims settlements with Tehran are conducted.

“The legislation … lacks legal standing and is against the spirit of the JCPOA,” Valiollah Nanvakenari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ISNA on Saturday.

He was using an acronym that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the nuclear accord that took effect on January 16 to ease international sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary constraints on its nuclear program.

Nanvakenari said the measure “is yet further evidence of American untrustworthiness”.

“Unfortunately, the US President [Barack Obama] has failed to fully comply with his commitments,” he added.

Since the first such payment was made the same day Tehran agreed to release four American prisoners last January, US Republican lawmakers decried the payments as “ransom”, a charge the White House has rejected.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill, calling it “an ill-advised attempt to respond to a problem—the so-called ‘ransom’ payments to Iran—that does not exist.”

House Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to score political points.

Senator Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Republicans turned the bill “into a political hot button—a poke in the eye of the administration”.

An initial $400 million payment in euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency was delivered on pallets on Jan. 17, the same day Tehran agreed to release the prisoners. The remaining $1.3 billion were paid in cash installments on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5.


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