Iran seeks to delay debt payments to US

Iran cannot pay its estimated $3 billion to $4 billion debt to the US and has begun secret talks with American officials to delay payment. According to the former governor of the central Iranian bank, Ali Reza Nobari , now in exile in France, Tehran cannot maintain the $1 billion Bank of England account it agreed to open for payment of US claims against Iran. The agreement was part of the deal that freed the 52 hostages last January.

Quoting Iranian officials involved in the talks, Mr. Nobari said that Iran wanted to postpone some of the immediate payment obligations.

The fall in reserves, low oil revenues, and Iran's problems in finding other funds were leading to a serious cash squeeze, Mr. Nobari said.

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