South Korea has agreed to release “a part” of billions of dollars of Iranian money it had blocked in its banks for years because of United States sanctions.
In a statement, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Ryu Jeong-hyun announced the news in a meeting his embassy called for.
“In this meeting, necessary agreements were made on how the resources will be transferred to desired destinations and the central bank’s decision on the volume of resources to be transferred and destination banks were relayed,” the statement said, without mentioning the amount that will be released.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had said in an interview on Sunday Iran’s funds in South Korea were “close to $10bn”.
According to the central bank, the South Korean ambassador said his country is ready to do whatever is necessary to allow Iran to have access to all of its blocked resources.
CBI chief Abdolnasser Hemmati told Jeong-hyun that Iran welcomed the change in approach, but would continue its legal efforts to obtain damages incurred from a “lack of cooperation by Korean banks” in recent years.
“The Korean side must work hard so this negative precedent goes away,” Hemmati said.