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February 23, 2021 11:50 am

South Korea Says Will Release $7 Billion in Frozen Iranian Assets After ‘Consultations’ With US

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avatar by i24 News

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/

i24 News – Iranian assets worth an estimated $7 billion locked in South Korea will shortly be released following consultations with the United States, after Tehran announced Monday that it has reached a deal with Seoul over how to transfer the funds, reported the Korea Times.

The agreement was reportedly reached during a meeting between Iran’s Central Bank Gov. Abdolnaser Hemmati and South Korean Ambassador to Iran Ryu Jeong-hyun.

For months Tehran has been pressuring Seoul to unblock the assets held in two South Korean banks due to US sanctions. Seoul has been in talks with Washington on ways to release the money without violating the sanctions, including expanding humanitarian trade with the Middle Eastern country, according to the Korea Times.

“Our government has been in talks with Iran about ways to use the frozen assets, and the Iran side has expressed its consent to the proposals we have made,” the foreign ministry said, without providing further details of the proposals.

“The actual unfreezing of the assets will be carried out through consultations with related countries, including the United States,” the ministry said.

Seoul has apparently been finalizing talks with Washington over the last few weeks regarding using some of the frozen assets to pay Iran’s United Nations arrears — to which Tehran acquiesced.

Since the dying days of former President Donald Trump’s administration and the start of his successor US President Joe Biden’s, Iran has attempted to leverage its way out of US sanctions.

Although Tehran has denied that its seizure of a South Korean oil tanker and its crew in early January had anything to do with the frozen assets, this latest news would appear to indicate that its massive gamble may just have paid off.

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