MoD calls on UK to take practical actions to pay 40-year debt

TEHRAN, Sep. 09 (MNA) – Stating that the issue of paying off Iran’s debt by the UK government has nothing to do with the release of some prisoners, Iran's Ministry of Defense called on UK to take immediate action to pay 40-year debt.

Despite the Ministry of Defense's follow-up, the British company IMS refused to pay debt payment due to the non-implementation of military contract agreements. Inevitably, the legitimacy of Iran has been proven by the legal and judicial efforts made through the international arbitration courts as well as in the domestic courts of Britain, said Iran's Defense Ministry in a statement issued on Thursday.

However, the relevant authorities in Britain have refused to pay their debts under various false pretenses, including illegal and oppressive sanctions, and have damaged their face in the international arena, especially among the Iranian people, it added.

There is no doubt about the UK's debt to Iran and the Ministry of Defense is persistently and seriously seeking the realization of the rights of the Iranian people, it noted.

While British Defense Secretary acknowledges the 40-year UK's debt to Iran in order to strengthen international principles and regulations and ensure Iran's national rights, London is expected to take practical and immediate steps to make up for the past so that the dissatisfaction and protest of the Iranian government and people towards Britain not to be continued, the statement read.

The issue of UK's debt to Iran is the result of an international arbitral tribunal ruling based on an independent legal case that has nothing to do with the release of a prisoner or other issue, it added, noting that the rulings were issued years before the issue of imprisoned offenders.

The statement continued while the relevant votes and documents have been provided to the British side and they have also accepted this debt, so the seriousness and speed of the British government in paying these debts are expected.

Relying on legal and managerial mechanisms and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Central Bank, the Ministry of Defense is seriously and harmoniously pursuing the demand for the rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it noted.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has for the first time acknowledged his country’s debt owed to Iran over a decades-old arms deal.

“With regard to International Military Services (IMS) Ltd and the outstanding legal dispute the government acknowledges there is a debt to be paid and continues to explore every legal avenue for the lawful discharge of that debt."

“I have previously stated my personal position and I remain committed to its resolution, but it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time," he added.

International Military Services (IMS), a subsidiary of the British Ministry of Defense, signed contracts in 1971 to sell more than 1,750 Chieftain tanks and armored vehicles to Iran. The deals were canceled after the Shah was deposed in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but Iran had already paid for the undelivered tanks and demanded its money back.

International arbitration in 2008 ruled the UK owed the debt, but it has not yet paid up.

The British government has not yet paid up the debt.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also said that the issue of paying off Iran’s debt by the UK government has nothing to do with the release of dual-national prisoners.

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News Code 163350

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