South Korea says it will return Iran's funds once nuclear deal is restored
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 13 July 2022 4:42 PM
South Korea has repeated its position on the return of more than $7 billion of Iranian funds blocked in the country because of American sanctions on Tehran as a top diplomat says the funds will be repatriated once Iran and world powers agree to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
South Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong said on Wednesday that Seoul will make efforts to release the Iranian funds when the JCPOA is restored, according to remarks published in the official Yonhap news agency.
The remarks were made during a phone call between Cho and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani.
South Korea's foreign ministry said that during the phone conversation, Bagheri had called for a prompt resolution of "the pressing bilateral issues" between Tehran and Seoul, a clear reference to the issue of blocked funds that has strained bilateral ties.
Iran has repeatedly insisted that South Korea should pay back the money it owes Iran for energy imports in the past without tying the issue to the outcome of the JCPOA revival talks.
Some Iranian authorities have also called for an action to force South Korea to pay back the debt as they argue that Seoul's sheer compliance with American sanctions is against international laws.
South Korea was a major buyer of Iranian crude oil before 2018 when the United States pulled out of the JCPOA and imposed sanctions on Tehran.
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