[Ed. – Oh, and the Justice Department announced charges against an Iranian intelligence network for plotting to kidnap an American in the U.S. and spirit her back to Iran. But the real news is the sanctions waivers, which will open up a tranche of cash from South Korea and Japan, for starters. Eyes on the ball. Or the pallets of cash, whichever shows up first.]
The State Department informed Congress late Tuesday that it would waive sanctions on Iran’s illicit oil trade so that the country can access frozen funds from South Korea and Japan, the same day the Department of Justice announced charges on an Iranian spy network that sought to kidnap an American.
The waiver, signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, allows the “transfer of Iranian funds in restricted accounts to exporters in Japan and the Republic of Korea,” according to a notification sent to Congress by the State Department. The waiver allows Iranian money that had been frozen as a result of American sanctions to be freed up without violating the law. “Allowing these funds to be used to repay exporters in these jurisdictions will make those entities whole with respect to the goods and services they exported to Iran, address a recurring irritant in important bilateral relationships, and decrease Iran’s foreign reserves,” the waiver states.