Iran’s President censures Japan for refusing to release frozen assets
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi has strongly criticized Japan for refusing to release Iran’s frozen assets in the country’s banks, saying there is no justification for the delay by Tokyo in unfreezing Iran’s assets.
In a Sunday meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Tehran, Raeisi stressed the importance of releasing Iran's foreign exchange resources blocked in Japan, emphasizing, "The delay in the release of Iranian assets in the Japanese banks is not justifiable.”
In an interview with Kyodo News in February, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Japan to unfreeze the assets, blocked due to the US sanctions, and also persuade US President Joe Biden to lift the bans imposed on Iran.
"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.
In another part of his remarks and in response to the top Japanese diplomat’s statements on the necessity of implementing Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as an international agreement, Raeisi said, "Iran has been fulfilled all its obligations as per the JCPOA and it was the Americans who failed to fulfill their obligations and unilaterally left the international deal and extended sanctions” against Tehran.
He added that the Europeans signatories to the JCPOA – Britain, France and Germany – also followed suit with the US and refrained from fulfilling their obligations under the deal, adding, "The Americans must answer to the world public opinion why they did not respect their JCPOA commitment and left the agreement."
The JCPOA was reached between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China in 2015. However, the deal was ditched by former US President Donald Trump in 2018 in spite of Iran’s full compliance with its contractual obligations.
The Iranian president also pointed to the recent developments in Afghanistan and hailed the efforts made by Japan and other countries in the region to help establish peace and stability in the war-ravaged country.
The Japanese foreign minister is in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials, on the first leg of a tour taking him through the West Asia region.