US bankers cheated Iran, Central Bank official says

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The governor of Iran's Central Bank says US bankers "cheated" Iran in the financial negotiations that led to the release of the American hostages, the Wall Street Journal reports. The governor, Ali Reza Nobari, said Iran has received securities and gold worth about $2.5 billion from the US Federal Reserve but has received only about $500 million of the $5.5 billion that was to be transferred from American banks to an escrow account.

Mr. Nobari said that $3.6 billion of the $5.5 billion total was taken immediately by US banks to repay syndicated loans outstanding. Such a repayment by Iran was part of the hostage-release agreement. But he contends that the amount owed by Iran was at least $400 million less.

The Journal said a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Bank in New York admits to a discrepancy not much less than the $400 million figure given by Mr. Nobari. He was quoted as saying, "The Fed will calculate the exact amount with the Tr easury and will determine the appropriate disposition."

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