UK admits debt owed to Iran

9/7/2020 4:26:00 PM

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace for the first time has acknowledged his country’s debt to Iran over a decades-old arms deal. Monday, September 07, 2020 5:22:48 PM

He made the admission in a letter seen by British daily newspaper, The Guardian. Wallace said London is seeking ways to pay off the debt to Tehran, which is estimated to be as much as £400 million arising from the non-delivery of tanks ordered by Iran's ousted monarch Mohammad Reza Shah.

International Military Services (IMS), a subsidiary of the British Ministry of Defense, signed contracts in 1971 to sell more than 1,750 Chieftain tanks and armored vehicles to Iran. The deals were cancelled after the Shah was deposed in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but Iran had already paid for the undelivered tanks and demanded its money back.

An international arbitration in 2008 ruled the UK owed the debt, but it has not yet paid up.

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