Iran’s frozen money in Seoul to pay off Korean exports: ambassador

TEHRAN – South Korea’s new Ambassador to Tehran Yun Kang-hyeon has said Iran’s frozen oil money in his country will be used to pay off Korean companies that had previously exported basic commodities to Iran.

Speaking in a meeting with the Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Masoud Khansari, Yun noted that the money cannot be used for exporting new items to Iran except for basic goods or medicine, the TCCIMA portal reported.

In the meeting, held in Tehran on Monday, the two sides discussed the latest state of trade relations between the two countries and explored ways for improving economic ties.

According to Yun, if the U.S. sanctions on Iran are lifted the amount of South Korean investment in Iran will be such that Iran’s blocked resources in the Asian country will be insignificant compared to them.

“South Korea is committed to helping the Iranian people. Last year, a large amount of medicine and medical equipment was exported from Korea to Iran following a U.S. trade waiver issued by the United States government,” the ambassador said.

He further mentioned the negative impacts of the sanctions on South Korean companies and said: “South Korea’s oil and petrochemical industries have suffered the most from sanctions against Iran.”

“Fortunately, estimates suggest that governments are negotiating, and if sanctions are lifted, South Korea will begin investing heavily in Iran, especially in areas such as railways or equipping Iranian mobile networks with 5G technology,” he said.

Further in the meeting Khansari also referred to the recent talks between Iran and other signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal on reviving the deal, saying: “Iran’s private sector expects that after the conclusion of these negotiations and the lifting of sanctions, Iran and South Korea would make joint investments in various economic and industrial sectors.”

The official said that before the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran, the volume of economic relations between Iran and South Korea exceeded $17 billion, but with the withdrawal of the U.S. administration from the deal, the level of trade decreased to less than $2 billion.

The TCCIMA head also stressed that the Iranian private sector is ready to develop economic cooperation with Korean companies.

“Holding business webinars between the companies of the two countries to get acquainted with each other’s capabilities and capabilities is one of the Tehran Chamber’s steps to revive Iran-Korea trade,” Khansari said.

EF/MA

Photo: TCCIMA Head Masoud Khansari (L) and South Korea’s Ambassador to Tehran Yun Kang-hyeon meet in Tehran on Monday.

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