Some details about alleged US sanctions concessions to Iran in case of a nuclear deal is circulating among hardliners in Tehran, obtained by Iran International.
According to this information, the implementation of a nuclear agreement will take 120 days during which a series of steps will be taken by both sides, including the release of Iranians imprisoned in the United States for violating US sanctions and other acts for the benefit of Iran’s government, and US citizens held hostage in Iran.
Iranian hardliners who are circulating the information call it a list of “concessions” by the United States, but this claim cannot be verified.
They include the immediate release of $7 billion frozen in two South Korean banks and annulment of three executive orders signed by former President Donald Trump after he withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA.
Also, Iran will be allowed to sell 50 million barrels of oil in the 120-day period, presumably with the necessary arrangements for receiving the proceeds through legal banking channels.
Currently, Iran ships its oil primarily to China in clandestine ways and it is not clear how much cash it receives and how much of the trade is based on barter.
The legal sale of 50 million barrels at current crude oil prices would generate another $4 billion for Iran in the first 120 days. The oil in question is most probably what Iran has stockpiled, trying to find customers. There were reports in the past that Tehran might have stored up to 100 million barrels both on land and on tankers.
Also, the information circulating says that sanctions imposed on 17 banks will be removed, which would most probably include the Central Bank of Iran. All other sanctioned Iranian banks are either directly owned by the government or are quasi-state banks, some probably also affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).
Sanctions will be removed from 150 institutions or entities, again all affiliated with the state or with centers of power such as “charitable” organizations linked to the office of the Supreme Leader and possibly the IRGC. However, not having the list of these entities it is hard to be certain.
One name mentioned is a huge business conglomerate, presented as a charity, directly run by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office. The entity is called The Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO), which is known in Persian simply as Setad.
The Biden Administration has been claiming that it will not lift non-nuclear sanctions, such as those imposed for links to terrorism, Iran’s missile program or human rights violations. EIKO was sanctioned on January 13, 2021, days before President trump left office, under the Executive Order (E.O.) 13876, which was imposed for Iran’s regional destabilizing activities and its missile program.
Finally, the information received by Iran International indicates that an exemption will be granted to companies engaging with Iran in case the US withdraws from the agreement and re-imposes sanctions. The duration of this exemption is not mentioned, but it was reported this week that it could be as long as one year.
US Republicans and other critics of reviving the JCPOA under these conditions say that if Democrats lose control of the US Congress, they will derail President Joe Biden’s concessions to Iran.