WASHINGTON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – The United States waived sanctions to allow the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar, a step needed to carry out a previously announced U.S.-Iran prisoner swap, according to a U.S. document seen by Reuters on Monday.
The broad outlines of the U.S.-Iran deal under which five U.S. citizens detained by Iran would be allowed to leave in exchange for the transfer of the funds and the release of five Iranians held in the United States were made public on Aug. 10.
According to the State Department document seen by Reuters, Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that waiving the sanctions was in the national security interests of the United States.
The document sent to U.S. congressional committees marks the first time the U.S. government has formally acknowledged it is releasing five Iranians detained in the United States as part of the agreement to secure the freedom of the five U.S. citizens.
“To facilitate their release, the United State has committed to release five Iranian nationals currently detained in the United States and to permit the transfer of approximately $6 billion in Iranian funds held in restricted accounts in the (Republic of Korea) to restricted accounts in Qatar, where the funds will be available only for humanitarian trade,” it said. …