TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran Major Assets in S. Korea Still Blocked . Secretary General of Iran-South Korea Joint Chamber of Commerce Pouya Firouzi says Iran’s major assets in South Korean banks have not been unblocked yet and talks with this country will resume soon.
Speaking to ILNA, Firouzi said that soon the chamber will have a meeting with South Korean Ambassador to Tehran and the frozen assets will be one of the major topics on the agenda and in the meeting some major points raised by the private sector will be discussed.
He went on to say that the chamber has one goal on its agenda for continuing the activities and cooperation with South Korea in the field of transferring of technology and knowhow and therefore, and imports of the goods from South Korea will be out of question on the agenda.
On the latest development and condition of trade between Iran and South Korea, Firouzi said that Iran is still waiting for resolving the issue of the frozen assets in Seoul and as long as no positive step is not taken in this regard, the proceeding of other issues will be impossible. He said regarding the medicines and medical issues and coronavirus, the condition is the same and at first the system for payment and exchanges should be defined to let the authorized companies to engage in trade.
He reiterated that as long as these issues are not resolved and financial exchanges are not resolved, one cannot see happening of any major breakthrough.
On the possibility of unblocking Iran’s money in Seoul, said South Korean officials have promised a lot but as long as those promises are not fulfilled, they will be void and baseless. Firouzi added that since the U.S. exit from the JCPOA and reimposition of new round of sanctions, South Koreans have given some promises and practically tens of million dollars were released but the major amount of the money is still blocked and this has created some social and political sensitivity.
Pointing to the trend of trade balance of the two countries, Firouzi said that the trade balance between Iran and South Korea without inclusion of oil sales was $842m in 2017 and $550m in 2018, adding that it declined to minus $493m in 2019 and minus $540m in 2020 and this year it has been minus $96m.
Earlier this month South Korea’s new Ambassador to Tehran Yun Kang-hyeon s said Iran’s frozen oil money in his country will be used to pay off Korean companies that had previously exported basic commodities to Iran.
Speaking in a meeting with the Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Masoud Khansari, Yun noted that the money cannot be used for exporting new items to Iran except for basic goods or medicine.
In the meeting, the two sides discussed the latest state of trade relations between the two countries and explored ways for improving economic ties.
According to Yun, if the U.S. sanctions on Iran are lifted the amount of South Korean investment in Iran will be such that Iran’s blocked resources in the Asian country will be insignificant compared to them.