Tehran, Seoul to launch humanitarian trade: Yonhap

TEHRAN, Aug. 02 (MNA) – A South Korean source has claimed that Tehran and Seoul have agreed to establish a working group on mutual humanitarian trade, according to Yonhap.

On Sunday, the South Korean news agency quoted a source close to the matter as saying that South Korea and Iran have agreed to launch a working group on expanding humanitarian trade as part of efforts to maintain bilateral partnership within the scope of a US-approved sanctions exemption.

The director general-level consultation aims to discuss on a regular basis how to match Iran's demand for medicine and medical equipment with what South Korean exporters can offer, the source said.

The first working group talks will likely be held early next month, the same report confirmed.

Expanding humanitarian trade with Tehran is also expected to help the two countries settle the issue of Iran's assets -- known to be worth up to $7 billion -- frozen in two Korean bank accounts since last year due to Washington's tightened sanctions against Tehran, Yonhap reported.

Iran is struggling to return the funds frozen by foreign banks amid a shortage of hard currency in the country which has been contending with the coronavirus pandemic over the past months.

Following the first humanitarian shipment to Tehran in May under the US sanctions, Iran and South Korea held virtual talks on July 29 about expanding humanitarian trade like medicine exports.

HJ/FNA13990512000043

News Code 161745

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