US Waives Sanctions on Iran’s Blocked Funds in Seoul
The US Department of State declares waiving sanctions on some of Iran’s blocked funds in South Korea and Japan and gives the two countries another 90 days to finish transactions with Iran.
The US Department of State announced that it issued an exemption on some of Iran’s blocked funds in South Korea and Japan to allow them to import oil from Iran.
The waiver, signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, allows the transfer of Iranian funds in restricted accounts to exporters in Japan and South Korea.
The waiver allows the Iranian money that had been blocked as a result of the US sanctions to be freed up without violating the law.
The US Department of State Spokesman said that the waiver, signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, allows the "transfer of Iranian funds in restricted accounts to exporters in Japan and the Republic of Korea." He added, "These repayment transactions can sometimes be time-consuming, and the Secretary extended the waivers for another 90 days."
The US Department of State stated that the waiver "does not allow the transfer of any funds to Iran," but will allow Japanese and Korean companies, which had exported non-sanctioned goods and services before the US sanctions were tightened by the previous administration, to collect debts from Iran.
Early this month, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency announced that an agreement was reached between South Korea Finance Minister Hong Nam-Ki and the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States Janet Yellen, on means of cooperation between the two countries regarding Iranian blocked funds in Seoul. In this context, South Korea intends to use Switzerland [as a channel] to employ part of these frozen Iranian assets with the aim of paying for humanitarian goods, which Swiss companies usually sell to Iran.
It is worth noting that the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif explained the issue concerning the Iranian funds held by South Korea last March. He also mentioned that the Korean Foreign Minister had invited him to hold talks regarding the issue, declaring that Iran and South Korea had actually agreed on a mechanism for the recovery of the blocked funds.