TEHRAN (Iran News) – S. Korean Big Companies Waiting for Iran Deal With West. New South Korea’s Ambassador to Tehran Yun Kanghyeon in meeting with head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce Mr. Masoud Khansari said major South Korean companies are waiting for Iran’s deal with the West to resume cooperation with Tehran.
In the meeting, Yun said that South Korea’s oil and petrochemical industry suffered the most from the U.S. sanctions against Iran, and said fortunately it seems the governments have reached agreement at the negotiation table and in case sanctions against Iran are removed, South Korea will resume its cooperation in Iran especially in the fields of infrastructures like railway or equipping Iran’s internet network with the 5G technology.
Yun claimed after the removal of sanctions, South Korea’s investment in Iran will be in a way that Iran’s frozen assets in South Korean banks will be considered insignificant comparing to the volume of investment, adding that South Korea is committed to help Iranians and in the past years and after issuance of license for humanitarian trade by the U.S., it has sent huge volume of medicine and medical equipment.
He then pointed to the payment of Iran’s membership fees to the UN which was around $60m and it was paid through Iran’s frozen assets in the two South Korean banks, adding that recent developments in the past one year indicate the sanctions against Iran are being removed and after the final agreement with the West, big South Korean companies will move towards Iran.
Yun reiterated that South Korean government does not get order from the U.S. for its ties with Iran, adding that ignoring the U.S. sanctions will cost the offender companies too much and currently one of the South Korean banks has frozen some part of Iran’s oil sale money and it faced heavy fines due to its cooperation in recent years.
He added that the level of cooperation between Korean companies with the U.S. is very higher than with Iran and therefore they are not ready to be penalized by the U.S. for the sake of cooperation with Iran.
Yun said Iranian and South Korean currently can cooperate in exchange of humanitarian items like medicines through the frozen assets of Iran in the two Korean banks.
Meanwhile Khansari, for his part, called for release of Iran’s frozen assets which is estimated to be around $7b and called it the major demand of Iranian nation and economic activists. He added before reimposition of the U.S. sanctions, the trade volume between Iran and South Korea was around $17b but after the pullout of the U.S. from the JCPOA, the trade volume fell to less than $2b. He reiterated that South Koreans suffered more loss because of the sanctions while Iranians tried to focus more on their own capabilities.
He also announced readiness of Iran for expansion of economic cooperation with Korean companies, adding that holding trade webinars between enterprises of the two countries is of the major actions of Tehran Chamber of Commerce for making the business activists with capacities of the two countries and cooperation with South Korean Embassy can be put on the agenda of the both sides.