Bahram Qassemi

FM asks Britain to pay long overdues to Iran

FNA – The Iranian foreign ministry called on London to clear its £450mln debt to Tehran as soon as possible.

“We hope Britain will be able to pay back the sums it owes to Iran as soon as possible,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

He also dismissed the speculations that the British are seeking to settle the overdue debts to Iran through compensation for the damage inflicted on the British embassy in Tehran by angry protestors in 2011, saying, “These cases are still open and they are not related at all.”

Britain owes Iran around £450m for a cancelled arms deal in the 1970s. The deal was made with the country’s then Shah, and would have seen 1,750 tanks and other vehicles sold by Britain to Iran.

However, the Shah was toppled in the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and almost none of the vehicles were delivered. Britain kept the money, sparking a decades-long legal wrangle between the two countries.

The amount was reportedly transferred to a bank account controlled by the High Court in 2002, but has not been passed on to Iran. Talks to resolve the issue have been going on for many years.

Reports said in 2017 that that the UK Government was considering paying the amount to Iran but it did not.