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Tehran: Seoul Not Releasing Iran’s Assets Due to US Pressure

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that South Korea has not unblocked Tehran’s revenues because of Washington’s pressure, adding that consultations are underway with the East Asian country’s officials to ease the process.

“Iran thinks that it is not necessary to obtain a license from the Americans, but the Korean side is still trying to obtain it from the US to release Iranian blocked assets,” Zarif said, noting that the mechanism for returning Iranian assets from South Korea has been agreed upon by the parties.

“Last week, I talked to the South Korean foreign minister at his request. He stated that they are doing their best to reach a conclusion, and we are following up on our part.”

Mohammad Javad Zarif

“Mechanisms have been agreed, but apparently the Koreans have not yet received the necessary permits, so they say they are pursuing the issue,” he added.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, Chairman of Iran-South Korea joint chamber of commerce Hossein Tanhayi said that Seoul is going to unblock Iran’s frozen money.

“South Korea will release Iran’s frozen funds,” Tanhayi said, adding that the funds will be returned to Iran not in cash, but in good and Tehran has announced to Seoul a list of necessary items, including medicines and raw materials, and equipment for factories.  

“According to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the total debt of South Korea to Iran is $7 billion,” he said.

He went on to say that without having to negotiate with the US, South Korea can apply the barter mechanism for non-sanctioned goods, including food and pharmaceuticals.

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