Iran's  new President Hassan Rohani
Iran's new President Hassan RohaniAFP file

One of the “victims” of the sanctions imposed on Iran has been the World Bank. When the U.S. and other Western countries all but banned international sales of Iranian oil, Tehran stopped paying up its debts – said to amount to as much as $600 million.

Because it hadn't been paying, Iran was placed on the Bank's “black list” of debtor countries, meaning it was ineligible for further international loans – which it couldn't get anyway, due to the sanctions.

This week, Iran began making payments to the Bank again, and as a result has been taken off the black list. The payments are for loans made ten and more years ago. The Bank has not lent Iran any new funds since 2005.

Iran in the past has said that it stopped payments because of the sanctions, but neither it nor the Bank gave a reason for the restarting of the payments. Analysts said that the payments were part of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to persuade the U.S. that it had indeed turned over a new leaf, and to convince the West to end the sanctions.