Seoul should adopt 'independent' attitude towards Tehran

TEHRAN, Jan. 11 (MNA) – Stating that South Korea should have an independent attitude towards Iran, Iran's Governor of the Central Bank said that Iran will continue to pursue its rights and use of its assets in South Korea.

During the meeting with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-Kun, Abdolnaser Hemmati expressed hope for the results of these talks, saying, "The banks of South Korea have blocked our assets in this country for many years and do not assign the issue."

Stating that freezing our assets in South Korea is Iran's main challenge with this country, he said, "We had assets in other countries, and we used and had access to them despite US sanctions. But we have not yet been able to access our assets in South Korea, which has been one of Iran's main trading partners."

He pointed to his visit to South Korea, saying, "A year and a half ago, I had talks with South Korean officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, about this issue, and they promised to help and cooperate, but unfortunately, it has not worked out yet."

Hemmati highlighted, "There were even correspondences with Korean officials that, despite promises, were fruitless and we could not even use our assets to buy goods and medicine."

"$7billion has been frozen in South Korean banks for more than two years," he said expressing hope that this issue, which is an obstacle to Iran-South Korea relations, will be resolved as soon as possible.

"The main goal of these talks is definitely to solve the banking problem," he added.

Regarding South Korea's attitude towards Iran's assets in this country, Hemmati noted, "This attitude of South Korea is a big mistake and it is basically unacceptable for Korea to freeze Iran's assets following a third country order."

Emphasizing that business partners must be together in sensitive and difficult situations, he said, "We expect the South Korean government to decide independently, regardless of the orders, including the US government."

He also emphasized legal proceedings in this regard, saying, "If this issue is not resolved, we will continue the legal paths we have started and will continue to pursue our rights and use our assets in Korea."

Stating that South Korea should not trust the Americans, Hemmati noted, "I believe that South Korea should not base its old and intimate relations with Iran on the relations of other countries and a person like Trump."

South Korean delegation arrived in Tehran on Sunday in order to discuss Iran’s access to its financial resources.

The delegation's trip was agreed upon before the seizure of the offending Korean ship, and its main agenda is to discuss how to access Iran's financial resources in Korea.

South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-Kun also held a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araghchi on Sunday evening.

ZZ/5119517

News Code 168375

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