UK must be committed pragmatically in honoring Iran’s debt

TEHRAN, Mar. 23 (MNA) – Iranian Defense minister underlined that the UK must take practical steps to honor Iran’s debt.

Reacting to the recent remarks of UK defense secretary, Brigadier General Amir Hatami said, “Although Ben Wallace, the British Secretary of Defense, has reiterated the need to clear the payments of military agreements between the two sides and the need to pay the debt to the Islamic Republic of Iran after forty-two years, there is always a gap between the British authorities' position and practical will.”

“Regarding the court verdicts, the contractual obligations and numerous discussions held between the two sides about practical solutions to clear the debts, the restrictions resulting from the oppressive sanctions on Iran are not the main obstacle,” the minister said.

He noted that the will of the British government is needed in practice to end this issue through the solutions discussed in the talks between the parties.

Ben Wallace told Times Radio on Monday that Britain should clear a standing debt with Iran.

He said it was “absolutely right” that “we should honor that debt”.

Speaking about the case, he said, “What we’ve said very clearly is that we comply with the law and the rule of law . . . we should honor that debt and we should find ways to return it to Iran.

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.

Back in September 2020, Iran's Ministry of Defense called on the UK to take immediate action to pay the 40-year debt, stating that the issue of paying off Iran’s debt by the UK government has nothing to do with the release of some prisoners.

Earlier, the Iranian Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh 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.

HJ/ 5174555

News Code 171352

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