South Korea agrees to partially unfreeze Iran's assets
After weeks of intense negotiations, Iran and South Korea reached an agreement Monday to unfreeze $1 billion of Iranian assets in Korean banks.
Governor of Iran’s Central Bank Abdolnasser Hemmat met in Tehran with South Korean Ambassador Ryu Jeong-Hyun to discuss the modalities of transferring and spending parts of Iran’s frozen assets.
According to a statement issued by the Central Bank, the two sides reached an initial agreement on transferring the frozen assets to specific destinations, as determined by Tehran.
The South Korean envoy, for his part, said Seoul was ready to cooperate with Tehran in facilitating the release of Iranian funds from South Korean banks, the statement said.
Hemmati, however, said that Iran would seek "damages" from Seoul caused by the "non-cooperation" of Korean banks in getting the assets freed.
"Although Iran welcomes the change in the approach of countries and increase in cooperation, the legal pursuits of this bank (CBI) to claim damages due to non-cooperation of Korean banks in recent years will remain strong," Anadolu Agency cited him as saying.
Hemmati added that Korean banks have been dissuaded from cooperating with Tehran on the issue owing to the U.S. pressure campaign against Iran.
Iran has around $7 billion frozen assets in South Korea, according to South Korean media.