Iran denies US cash payment was related to nuclear deal

DUBAI - Iran said on Monday that $1.7 billion that the United States sent it in January was cash owned since before the 1979 revolution, echoing the White House's assertion that it was not related to nuclear talks or a prisoner release.
The Obama administration said last week that the cash paid soon after the implementation of the deal under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program, and following the release of five detained Americans, was not "ransom" as some US Republicans had alleged.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that the transfer settled a long-standing Iranian legal claim and was negotiated on a separate track from the nuclear agreement which was opposed by hawks in both Washington and Tehran.
The money - $400 million in funds frozen since 1981 plus $1.3 billion interest - was part of a trust fund Iran used to buy US military equipment before the 1979 revolution after which the two countries cut diplomatic ties.
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