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Iran: End of Sanctions Unlocking $32 Billion in Assets

FILE - Valiollah Seif, governor of Iran's central bank, Aug. 23, 2015.

The head of Iran's central bank said Tuesday the country is gaining access to $32 billion in assets as a result of the lifting of international economic sanctions tied to its nuclear program.

State media quoted Valiollah Seif saying the bank has already successfully transferred some of its assets between banks to test that they were in fact no longer frozen.

The United States and European Union put the sanctions in place to pressure Iran amid allegations it was working to develop nuclear weapons. The sanctions badly hurt Iran's economy, and lifting them was what Iran got in return for sharply cutting back its nuclear program in a deal with world powers last year.

That deal was implemented on Saturday after the United Nations certified that Iran had completed its requirements, including reducing the number of centrifuges it operates at nuclear facilities and largely reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium.