Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian dismissed any connection between the exchange of prisoners with the US and the release of Iran’s assets frozen abroad.
In remarks at a press conference on Monday, Amirabdollahian said the exchange of prisoners with the US, which is a totally humanitarian issue, is completely unconnected to plans to unblock Iran’s assets in other countries.
He noted that the agreement between Iran and the US, mediated by a third country, contains two separate agendas about the prisoner swap and the release of Iran’s assets.
The indirect exchange of messages between Iran and the US has been in progress for months, the top diplomat added, stressing, “We have never been after an interim or little-for-little agreement.”
Amirabdollahian said Iran’s assets in South Korea had been frozen on Washington’s “cruel order”, explaining that Tehran will be free to use the money to purchase commodities excluded from the sanctions as the assets in the Korean banks have been transferred to a European country.
He noted that it takes days or weeks for the released money to be exchanged for euro before being deposited to Iran’s bank account in a regional country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he commented on the resumption of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, noting that Iran’s ambassador to Riyadh will officially take office during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.
“The ambassador of Saudi Arabia will also arrive in Tehran within the next days,” he stated.
Back in June, the Iranian embassy in Saudi Arabia reopened at an official ceremony after seven years of closure.
After days of intensive negotiations hosted by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia clinched a deal on March 10 to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and missions within two months after seven years of estrangement.
The two regional heavyweights have underscored the need to respect each other’s national sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of one another.