Pay your debt, Iran tells Britain — Analysis

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called for London to pay off its Iranian debt. It noted that Britain cannot make false pretenses to delay payment. This is in relation to British tanks purchased during the 1970s.

In a press briefing on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters that Tehran had once again pushed the UK to hand over the £400 million it owes to Iran. 

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Khatibzadeh claimed that Ali Bagheri Kani the Iranian Deputy Foreign minister had breached this topic while visiting London, where bilateral issues were raised. According to Khatibzadeh, the minister reminded London they couldn’t postpone debt repayments under any pretenses.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian was also the Iranian foreign minister. He spoke to Liz Truss on Monday and requested urgent repayment.

Britain owes around £400 million to Iran relating to the 1971 purchase of 1,500 Chieftain tanks and armored vehicles by the government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the pro-Western shah who ruled the country until the 1979 revolution.

The UK’s state-owned International Military Services delivered 185 tanks before the revolution, but the agreement was revoked following the seizing of the United States Embassy and the hostage crisis which engendered decades of hostility. 

Some UK politicians call for Iran’s money to be returned, while others say it can not be used by Iran as leverage for British prisoner release. Iran suggested Nazanin Zaghhari-Ratcliffe along with others dual nationals could be released if Britain pays.

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