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China To Fund Iran Development Projects With $20 Billion In Sanction-Barred Oil Money: Report

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China's Premier Li Keqiang delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st Century Council Beijing Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 1, 2013. (JASON LEE/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

TEHRAN, Iran -- TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A report by an Iranian media website says China has agreed to finance $20 billion in development projects in Iran using oil money not transferred to the Islamic Republic because of international sanctions.

The tasnimnews website published a report Saturday quoting prominent lawmaker Hasan Sobhaninia saying the deal was reached during talks between Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and Chinese leaders. Larijani visited China this week and Sobhaninia accompanied the speaker.

Iran government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nowbakht said last week that some $22 billion dollars of Iranian oil money is stuck in China because of sanctions.

The U.S. and its allies have imposed oil and banking sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Iran frequently uses barter arrangements because of the sanctions.

China is Iran's top crude oil importer.

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