Iran Calls on South Korea to ‘Act Wisely’ regarding Frozen Assets

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tehran urged Seoul to “act wisely” and release billions of dollars worth of Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks under the pretext of US sanctions.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Tehran is in continuous consultations with Seoul to restore the rights of the Iranian nation, but complained about the limited progress of the talks.

“We expect South Korean government to act prudently and wisely in releasing Iran’s assets in a timely manner,” he asserted.

He also called on Seoul to play its role in order to improve the relations between the two countries and revive the bilateral commercial and economic ties, Press TV reported.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Kanaani said Iran will use the legal path along with the negotiation path to restore the funds, pointing out that the administration of President Ebrahim Raeisi has recently sent a bill to the parliament on referring the dispute to arbitration to start the legal process of the case.

Earlier this month, President Raisi sent the bill on referring the dispute to arbitration to the Iranian parliament.

The bill, addressed to Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, was ratified by the cabinet of ministers on July 5 and was forwarded to the parliament “in order for the legal procedure to be taken.”

Deputy President for Legal Affairs Mohammad Dehghan said on Saturday that Iran will spare no legal efforts to force South Korea to release its funds.

South Korean banks blocked Iran’s assets after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reinstated economic sanctions against Tehran.

Unofficial estimates suggest Iran has more than $7 billion worth of frozen funds in two South Korean banks which refuse to release them because of fears of facing US penalties.

Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that unilateral US sanctions cannot justify Seoul’s inaction in repaying its debts to Tehran.

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