Labor and Tories join calls for UK to pay down Iranian debt | Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe| Latest News Headlines

Labor and Tories join calls for UK to pay down Iranian debt | Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

| Latest News Headlines | Yahoo news

Former Labor and Conservative Foreign Secretaries have joined calls for Britain to repay a £ 400million debt to Iran that could end Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s detention.

Both Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw have said that payment of money related to unpaid debt, due after a contract for 1,500 Chieftain tanks was canceled, could be made without violating sanctions against Iran or putting angry western allies. Their plea comes days after Jeremy Hunt, another former foreign minister, called for the money to be released.

Rifkind said there was no doubt that the sum was owed to Iran and that the main problem was to comply with international sanctions. “I find it hard to believe that there is no solution to this particular problem,” he said. “I really hope that a way to solve this problem can be found. We all know what the Iranians are doing and why they are doing it. They don’t just do this in relation to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, but with many others – taking hostages for political gain. It’s very unpleasant to have to deal with this.

“I would be more disheartened if there was a dispute over whether the debt is owed in the first place. If this were contested, then, like everyone else, I would be very reluctant to give in to this kind of blackmail. But the question is whether there is a procedure that can allow us to transfer the funds. And it should be possible to find a way around that. “

Jack Straw, the former Labor Foreign Minister, said: “The money should have been paid back years ago. I know for sure that in practice there is no direct obstacle to his being paid. There is no doubt in my mind, I cannot speak for anyone else, that he is caught up in the issue of the release of Nazanin.

It also emerged that during a debate in the House of Commons in 2014, Ben Wallace, the current Secretary of Defense, described the unpaid debt as “not only a sad story, but not a British one in that the process… was marred by double play and obscuration ”.

However, some sources who have dealt with the debt issue over the years have warned that there are real complications in repaying it. “There is no doubt that this money belongs to Iran,” said a source. “He has been held in a judicial escrow account for a long time. The questions are about the exact amount of money owed (it has 40 years of interest and various other items that need to be calculated) and how it could be legally transferred.

They spoke of fears that the money will end up in the hands of those subject to sanctions, fears about the United States’ reaction to the money paid, moral issues related to the handing over of the money. money to a regime financing terrorism in the region and the practical problems of finding a bank. ready to hand over the money, given the possible reaction of the United States.

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