Seoul not determined to pay Iran’s FOREX assets: CBI governor

TEHRAN, Jan. 19 (MNA) – Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati said that South Korea is not determined to unfreeze Iran’s assets kept in two of its banks.

“We believe that Korean banks should compensate Iran in these two years that have blocked Iranian assets. Of course, the amount of this financial damage is a technical issue and must be determined by banking and financial experts,” he added.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg on Tue., he put the country’s assets blocked in South Korea at $7 billion and added, “Interest rate of the Iranian assets in two South Korean banks should be paid based on the $7 billion of country’s funds that are currently in South Korea.”

In response to a question on his estimation of the interest rate on $7 billion of Iranian assets in South Korea, he stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has been prevented from using its funds with Korean banks, as a result of the Korean banks’ full cooperation with the maximum pressure policy of the United States against Iran. This policy is against international law and not justified by legal principles. Therefore, we believe that those Korean banks should pay the damage suffered by the Islamic Republic of Iran during these two years. The amount of such damage is a technical issue which should be determined by banking and financial experts.”

He pointed to the recent visit of South Korean delegation to the Islamic Republic of Iran to discuss Iranian assets blocked in South Korea and added, “South Korean delegation mentioned that they have the political will to resolve the issue and enable Iran to make use of their assets, but the problem is that they want to comply with the US policies and regulations as well.”

There are a number of problems for the utilization of funds belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iranian banks and financial institutions, including the Central Bank of Iran, are listed by the US Treasury as sanctioned entities. Unfortunately, the Korean government has succumbed to the pressure and, unlike some other countries, refuses to cooperate with Iran, he said.

"Our other partners could find some ways so that we can use resources to import humanitarian goods, but the Korean government did not propose any reliable channel in this regard. The funds are held with Korean banks which have business with the US banks and they take it as an excuse that the funds are Korean won and cannot be converted into euro directly," CBI governor added.

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