The Washington Post reported last week that the US and Qatar have agreed to deny Iran access to US$6 billion recently transferred to the Islamic Republic but held in Qatar as part of a deal between Washington and Tehran that led to the release of five imprisoned Americans from Iran last month.

But the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) is reporting this week that the governor of Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has said that the Gulf state completely adheres to all its obligations with Iran and there is no obstacle in the way of transferring the Islamic Republic's 'freed funds' through SWIFT and letters of credit (L/Cs).

Washington Post's view

"US officials and the Qatari government have agreed to stop Iran from accessing a US$6 billion account for humanitarian assistance in light of Hamas's attack on Israel," according to the Washington Post.

It says that two people speaking on the condition of anonymity said that this was disclosed in "private remarks" made by deputy treasury secretary, Wally Adeyemo, when he informed Democrats in the house of representatives that Iran has been barred from using the account.

IRNA's view

But Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al-Thani, QCB's governor, said in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Reza Farzin, that Iran's freed funds could be funnelled through SWIFT and L/Cs, according to IRNA.

The state-controlled news agency also quotes Farzin as saying that, "Iran's unfrozen assets can be used in Qatar through SWIFT and with L/C openings and the technical discussions are currently underway between Qatari banks and six Iranian banks".

Washington Post lambasted

IRNA is also reporting that Iran's permanent representative at the UN rejected the claim by the Washington Post that the US had agreed with Qatar to block Iran's freed money, and published this statement:

"The news is devoid of veracity, the publication of which would tarnish the Washington Post's credibility," Iran's mission said, adding, "the senators in question and the US government are all acutely aware that they cannot renege on the agreement."

The Washington Post article, US, Qatar agree to stop Iran from tapping $6 billion fund after Hamas attack, can be found here.

The IRNA article, Qatar Central Bank governor confirms commitment to banking relations with Iran, can be found here.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.