S. Korea offers medical equipment for clearing debt to Iran

TEHRAN, Aug. 23 (MNA) – Hossein Tanhayi, head of the Iran-South Korea chamber of commerce said on Sunday that South Korea has made an offer to clear part of its $7.5-billion debt to Iran via selling medical equipment to the country.

As he said, Iran has not responded to South Korea's offer, yet.

Tanhayi added that the trade volume between the two sides has dropped down to almost zero.

He informed that several mutual meetings have been held between the two sides and the South Koreans have made some promises but they have fulfilled none of them.

Underlining that Iran has the right to object about not receiving its oil revenues from South Korea, he said as previously announced, Iran may pursue a lawsuit in international courts against South Korean banks that have frozen the Iranian assets.

"South Korea's debt to Iran is about $7.5 billion," Tanhayi said, "South Korea was to return $50 million via dispatching basic goods and medical requirements to Iran but the job has not been done yet."

As he added, Iran is to prepare an agreement on receiving medical equipment from South Korea within two weeks. "The agreement is meant to clear part of South Korea's debt to Iran," he said.

Tanhayi's remarks came while Iranian First Vice President Es'hagh Jahangiri said on Thursday that South Korea has given a negative response to drug imports to Iran and it must be held accountable for this.

In a ceremony held on the occasion of Iran's National Doctors Day, Jahangiri criticized South Korea's act of blocking Iran's frozen assets and said South Korea must be accountable to the history for blocking Iran's assets and halting imports of medicine and vaccine to the country.

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 and August 18 about expanding humanitarian trade like medicine exports.

HJ/IRN83910830

News Code 162631

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