November 26, 2014 | Quote

For Former Embassy Hostages, a Special Interest in Iran Talks

Theoretically, there is no shortage of Iranian money to pay compensation. The Iranian government has $100 billion to $120 billion in foreign-exchange reserves in accounts outside the country, according to Mark Dubowitz, an expert in sanctions who is the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The bulk of that money is oil revenue held in escrow accounts by major trading partners of Iran, including China and Japan, Mr. Dubowitz said. Only about 10 percent of it is in frozen accounts that include cash and other assets, like Manhattan real estate. Since the United States and its partners agreed last November to ease sanctions in return for a freeze in Iran’s nuclear program, they have released $7.7 billion to Iran.

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