Switzerland has freed up money from Iran that was frozen in Swiss bank accounts. It’s come after sanctions against the state were lifted.
CHF12 million ($11.8 million) had been stopped from leaving Switzerland after being frozen between 2007 and 2012, as part of a sanctions programme against Iran to attempt to force the country not to develop and build an atomic bomb. After decades of negotiation, many United Nations (UN) sanctions were eased in January 2016 after a milestone nuclear deal was reached in 2015, meaning the money could be released.
A spokesperson for the State Secretariat for Economic affairs (Seco) confirmed on Sunday that the money had been unfrozen. It belonged to either individuals, companies or government-owned institutions. Around CHF10,000 has not yet been claimed by its owners.
According to its own estimates, Iran will now have around CHF32 billion at its disposal, which had previously been blocked off by various banks around the world.
The nuclear deal also opened up Iran to new international business opportunities, some Swiss firms are hoping it could lead to a fresh market outlet.
swissinfo.ch and agencies