News ID: 276003
Published: 0247 GMT October 27, 2020

MP warns Iran ties with South Korea could be at risk over blocked funds

MP warns Iran ties with South Korea could be at risk over blocked funds

A senior member of the Iranian Parliament warned that South Korea could risk its entire relations with Iran if it refuses to release funds blocked over US sanctions.

Mohammadreza Pourebrahimi said that South Korea should await major diplomatic consequences if it refuses to release funds that Iran needs most at the current difficult circumstances, Press TV reported.

“If South Korea wants to have continuous relations with Iran, it should not abandon the Iranian nation in difficult days,” said Pourebrahimi who chairs the Iranian Parliament’s Economic Committee.

The comments came amid Iran’s repeated calls on Seoul to release nearly $7 billion in Iranian funds that have been frozen in South Korean banks under US pressure.

The funds accrued in accounts in two banks are related to Iran’s sale of oil to South Korea before the United States imposed sanctions on Tehran in November 2018.

Seoul has tried to assuage Iran’s concerns about the funds by proposing to release a small portion of them to finance Iran’s purchases of food and medicine in South Korea.

Iran has rejected the offer while pressing South Korea to have the funds released in full.

Pourebrahimi reiterated that Iran would take a tougher approach toward South Korea once it gets rid of the sanctions, a scenario that has become increasingly likely in light of speculations about the outcome of the November 3 presidential elections in the US.

“Iran would exit the space of sanctions with future political changes in the region and in the world and under those conditions the policy for Iran’s relations with South Korea would differ from today’s,” he said.



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