FM Zarif calls on Japan to free Iran’s frozen assets

Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Japan to release the Iranian assets blocked under US sanctions.

In an interview with Japan’s Kyodo News, Zarif called Japan an old friend of Iran and noted its good relations with the United States.

“We expect Japan to act as a friend, particularly when it comes to international law,” Zarif said, referring to the illegal nature of the US sanctions.

“Since the United States is violating international law, the best role that Japan can play is to show Americans that Japan will not implement their illegal decisions,” he said.

Zarif specifically called on Japan to unfreeze Iranian assets frozen in Japanese banks due to US sanctions, as a gesture to Iran by the new government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who came to power last September, Press TV reported.

According to Zarif, frozen assets in Japan and South Korea total close to $10 billion. Japan’s share — mainly revenue from crude oil exports to Japan — is estimated to be just under $3 billion.

Zarif said the unfrozen funds could be used to procure medicines and food, including vaccines for the novel coronavirus.