Blinken sets condition for unfreezing Iran assets in S Korea

TEHRAN, Mar. 11 (MNA) – The United States suggested Wednesday it will oppose the release of billions of dollars in Iranian funds from South Korea until Tehran returns to full compliance with a nuclear deal.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated his call on Iran to return to adherence to the nuclear deal first and stressed that Washington would use its return to JCPOA to expand the agreement to other areas.

While officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran have stressed that it was the United States that has abandoned the nuclear deal and now they must return to JCPOA, the Washington administration has reiterated its excessive demands about Iran.

"If Iran returns to its commitments, we will do the same," US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated on Thursday morning, urging Tehran to adhere to the nuclear deal first, Al-Jazeera reported.

South Korea said last month that it had agreed on a way forward to release the money frozen from Iran's oil sales but was awaiting the approval of the United States, which under President Joe Biden is looking at returning to a 2015 denuclearization deal.

"If Iran comes back into compliance with its obligations under the nuclear agreement, we would do the same thing," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee when asked about the Iranian money in South Korea blocked by US sanctions.

Biden supports a return to diplomacy with Iran but insists that Tehran first return to full compliance with the 2015 deal by reversing nuclear steps it took to protest sanctions imposed by former president Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Peter Stano, a spokesman for the European Union's foreign policy bureau, said the EU and Borrell are in regular and intensive contacts with all parties to the nuclear deal to get it back on track.

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