Iran FM says UK’s debt settlement unrelated to dual nationals’ release

2780877 01/28/2016 Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the multimedia news conference on the situation in the Middle East in Moscow. Alexander Natruskin/Sputnik via AP

Tehran, March 17 (IANS) The Iranian Foreign Minister has said that London has paid off its debt owed to Tehran, noting the settlement was unrelated to the release of the two dual British-Iranian nationals imprisoned in Iran.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in an address to foreign ambassadors and heads of missions to Iran ahead of the Nowruz, the Iranian new year which begins on March 21, 2022, Xinhua news agency reported, citing Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

The two British-Iranians, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri, were released on humanitarian grounds, he said, adding they had been “arrested and tried on espionage and security charges in Iran.”

Abdollahian noted that during the past four months, he had been in intense contact with his British counterpart Liz Truss to ensure the payment to the Central Bank of Iran.

The UK owed millions of US dollars to Iran for an unfulfilled military contract dating back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The UK had delayed the payment for many years citing sanctions against Iran as the reason.

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