South Korean, Iranian diplomats discuss Iran's frozen assets
South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin calls for stronger bilateral cooperation between his country and Iran.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin has held a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during which both top diplomats discussed obstacles relating to the countries' bilateral relations.
These include the illegal freezing of Iranian foreign assets, the ministry said.
"Minister Park said that [Seoul] was making every effort to transfer the frozen funds with a clear understanding that the assets in question belong to the people of Iran, adding that South Korea has made progress in resolving the issue in recent years through close communication with relevant nations. Minister Amirabdollahian also highly appreciated this process," the ministry said in a statement following Monday's phone call.
Park further called for stronger bilateral cooperation between South Korea and Iran in a range of areas, including science, education, sports, and culture, the statement added.
On the other hand, the Iranian diplomat emphasized Iran's commitment to expanding ties with Seoul and its focus on relations with the Asian region.
On August 10, US media reported that Iran and the United States had reached an agreement to exchange prisoners and unfreeze Iranian assets. While the Biden administration said it would unfreeze approximately $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue, it noted that the money would be directed towards 'humanitarian purposes.' The funds will be moved from an Iranian government account in a South Korean bank to a secure Iranian account in a Qatari bank.
Later that month, the sequestered money was moved into a European account at a Swiss bank, Iranian state-run news agency IRNA said, citing sources.
Since the US withdrew from the JCPOA deal and re-implemented sanctions on Iran, Iranian funds worth $7 billion have been frozen in two South Korean banks, the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and Woori Bank.