S. Korea's lack of political will led to continued freeze on Iran's foreign exchange resources: Araghchi

Tehran, Jan 10, IRNA – Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday that Iran believes that Iran's foreign exchange resources remained blocked in Korea greatly due to a lack of political will on the part of the South Korean government, rather than the oppressive US sanctions.

He made the remarks in a meeting with the South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun who is currently in Iran at the head of a delegation late on Sunday.

The Korean official said that his visit to Tehran shows the significance his country attaches to boosting ties with Iran.

He reiterated that South Korea intends to restore trust in relations with Iran in the new year by resolving problems currently existing in bilateral ties.

Araghchi referred to the blocking of Iranian financial resources in Korea, saying that for nearly two and half a year, Korean banks have been illegally freezing Iran's foreign exchange resources for what they call fear of the US sanctions.

This action, which means giving in to the US excessive demands, is not acceptable, and of course, the development of relations will be meaningful only when this problem is solved, he said.

Referring to the failure of various talks with Korean officials during this period, especially by the Central Bank of Iran, he said that freezing of Iran's foreign exchange resources in Korea is more due to a lack of political on the part of the Korean government will than the US sanctions.

Araghchi called on the Korean official to find necessary mechanism to solve the issue as the first priority in bilateral ties.

The Korean official also stressed that providing Iran with an access to its foreign exchange resources in Korea is one of the priorities of the Korean government, and Seoul is determined to pursue this issue until a final solution is reached.

In response to a request from the Korean deputy foreign minister to help resolve the issue of the Korean tanker seizure, Araghchi noted that the seizure of the ship in the Persian Gulf and Iranian waters was solely due to technical considerations and environmental pollution.


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