South Korea should release Iran’s monetary assets as soon as possible

Tehran, April 11, IRNA – Iran's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri urged the South Korean government to release Iran's monetary assets as soon as possible and remunerate for recent years’ problems by taking practical acts.

Jahangiri made the remarks in a joint press conference with visiting South Koran Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun here on Sunday where he said that South Korean banks’ blocking of Iran’s monetary assets has harmed Korea’s prestige and status among Iranian nation.

He noted that next year will mark the 60th year of the establishment of Iran-South Korea diplomatic ties. "During all those years our bilateral relations were at highest possible level, so that the Koran companies were present in various parts of the Iranian economy and the volume of bilateral trade in the year 2012 reached 17 billion dollars."

The first Vice President said that Iran and South Korea’s cooperation are not limited to economic ties as they are quite comprehensive, adding: Iran and South Korea, as two major countries in West and East Asia play complementary roles economically.

“Unfortunately, during the course of the past three years South Korea pursued the illegally imposed US sanctions against Iran, which are internationally quite null and void, and exposed the bilateral ties to sever crack down and inactivity. The decreased level of bilateral ties occurred under such conditions that no international sanctions, including UN sanctions, were imposed against Iran,” added Jahangiri.

The senior Iranian official further said that unfortunately, the South Korean banks’ blocking of seven billion dollars of Iran’s monetary assets, which were the money for Iran’s legitimate and legal oil and oil derivatives to South Korea drastically harmed the bilateral ties and put it in a highly declining slope.

Blocking of the Iranian monetary assets by the South Korean banks happened under such conditions that the Iranian nation due to the Corona pandemic and its economic and medical health aftermaths severely needed those assets and the Koreans’ move in that respect deprived the Iranian government of the possibility to by medical supplies, medicine, and the other dire necessities of the country, he added.

Jahangiri regretted the fact under such tough conditions the South Korean companies even refrained from selling medicine and medical supplies to Iran and as a result of those acts unluckily Korea’s status and prestige in Iranian nation’s eye that had always been positive and friendly, has been seriously harmed.

The first vice president added: Despite all these facts, we consider the esteemed prime minister’s visit of Iran as a very good omen, and hope by Korea’s remunerative moves and practical actions the opportunity for improvement of Korea’s status in Iran will be provided.

Naturally, the Islamic Republic is ready for assisting that country for remunerating for the past and taking the effective and tangible steps, he added.

The South Korean prime minister had earlier visited Iran as his country’s Parliament speaker, and is quite familiar with Iran’s capabilities and potentials for partnership and cooperation with his country, according to Jahangiri.

The South Korean prime minister arrived in Tehran atop a high ranking delegation, including some of his cabinet ministers on Sunday and was received by the Iranian Roads and Rural Development Minister Mohamad Eslami.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun was officially received by First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Sunday evening.

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