Code: 1072917 A

Iranian-born economic adviser to the European Union Mehrdad Emadi believes Iran’s major deposits and blocked money are in Russia as the country transferred over $31b of its money into the Russian banks and in return it received Russian currency roubles which was a strange move which led to decline of its value by 40 percent.

Speaking to ILNA, Emadi talked about the current talks between Iran and Western countries and its effects on the economy, and said the current talks in Vienna are progressing well as the negotiators have reached an agreement on four out of the six items.

He noted the main difference between Iran and the U.S. is that Iran wants all sanctions are removed but the U.S. President is not allowed to do so because some of them have been approved by the Congress.

He continued that the U.S. Treasury is preparing the ground to put an end to the sanctions on Iran’s banking sector but it does not mean Iran’s return to the international system because both the SWIFT and E3 emphasize that as long as Iran does not join the FATF it cannot enjoy unlimited banking services.

Emadi said that Iranian team should work on removal of sanctions on energy, banking and transportation and of course Iran has added some more priorities like removal of sanctions on the military and intelligence individuals and this has made the talks more complicated and it may be a brake.

He said he believes Iran should focus on removal of sanctions on major three sectors then during the next talks, they can expand it to the individuals and other issues because removal of sanctions on these sectors can have positive effects on the people’s lives.

Emadi noted that the impacts of removing sanctions on the public and control of the inflation may be seen in the next 15 years and on the unemployment in the next two years.

On the possibility of unblocking Iran’s frozen assets, he said that he does not know the exact amount of Iran’s blocked money but according to some records in 2019, Iran in 21 countries each has deposits more than half a billion dollars.

He claimed that Iran has transferred major part of its dollars to Russia and has received roubles in return which has been a strange move as it has reduced the value of the deposit.

He claimed Iran has over $30b in different accounts in China and it can only use its money through buying Chinese goods which is not a good option for Iran.

Emadi noted that Iran has also blocked money in the UAE, Turkey, South Korea, Cyprus, Greece, India, Malta, Malaysia and Singapore, adding that Iran has started opening accounts in Macao and Hong Kong in the past five years.

He went on to say that according to the available information, Iran has over $88b frozen money and if the money is released and used in transfer of technology, it will boost economic security and sustainable growth.

He noted that retaking money from Russia and China is not easy but it is not impossible and Iran needs an expert legal team dominant on the economic issues for retaking its money.

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Frozen assets Vienna meeting U.S. Treasury economic adviser Mehrdad Emadi
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