S Korea to resume exports of humanitarian aid to Iran

TEHRAN, Apr. 10 (MNA) – A South Korean foreign ministry official, on Friday, informed of his country's resumption of humanitarian exports to Iran.

The shipments are likely to begin next month under a special license program from the US, Yonhap quoted him as saying.

On Monday, Seoul gained the General License No. 8 from the US government -- a mechanism to authorize certain humanitarian transactions with Iran even if they involve Iran's central bank subject to US sanctions.

"On April 6, the humanitarian export process based on the General License No. 8 got under way," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

"Our companies and banks should prepare documents needed to carry out enhanced due diligence, and we think that the shipments may begin about a month later," he added.

Apart from the license program, South Korea is also pushing for the Korean Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (KHTA), which uses an Iranian bank free from US sanctions -- such as the Middle East Bank -- to facilitate humanitarian transactions with the Islamic Republic.

Korea is also exploring ways to use the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, a payment method designed to facilitate Swiss companies' sales of food and medicine to Iran, to carry out its transactions with Iran.

"South Korea is pushing for all three methods," the official said, noting that the General License No. 8 platform appears to be the fastest way to resume humanitarian exports to Iran.

Though humanitarian exports are not subject to sanctions, South Korean firms had difficulty resuming their sales of medicines and other products to Iran due to fears that they could be affected by the American sanctions.

Iran is battling the coronavirus pandemic under the harshest ever sanctions by the US, which were re-imposed after Washington left a UN-backed landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers in 2018.

MNA/PR

News Code 157453

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