0753 GMT September 26, 2022
Removing obstacles to Iran’s access to its frozen assets in South Korean banks are on the agenda of the East Asian country’s government, said Foreign Minister Park Ji.
He made the remark in a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, where the two sides also hailed 60 years of political relations between Tehran and Seoul and voiced their counties’ determination to boost all-out ties, IRNA reported.
Voicing his government’s serious determination to release Iranian assets and listing the measures taken so far to this end, Park expressed hope that after the removal of the obstacles, South Korean companies would be able to resume their activities in Iran in different fields.
He also hoped that the two foreign ministers would take reciprocal visits to Tehran and Seoul when the time was right, and continue holding bilateral meetings regularly.
Amir-Abdollahian invited his South Korean counterpart to visit Tehran, expressing hope that the new government in Seoul would help improve bilateral relations.
Unofficial estimates suggest Iran has funds worth more than $7 billion in two South Korean banks that it cannot access simply because the financial institutes and authorities in the country refuse to process them due to fears of facing U.S. penalties.
South Korea was the third largest customer of Iranian crude oil and the number one buyer of Iranian condensate, a very light form of crude, before 2018, when a former administration in the United States pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Iranian officials have repeatedly warned in recent months that South Korea’s repatriation of the funds it owes Tehran for previous energy imports should not be tied to the JCPOA and the result of efforts to revive the deal.