S. Korea seeking to keep importing Iran’s oil: Sources

IRNA – South Korea is trying to obtain another exemption from the US sanctions that enables Seoul to continue importing oil from Iran despite sanctions, an informed source said.

This is announced ahead of an imminent meeting between Korean President Moon Jae-in and his American counterpart Donald Trump.

South Korea and the United States have discussed a possible sanctions waiver extension for Iranian oil imports.

‘According to a Seoul official, South Korean delegates, led by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yoon Kang-hyun, met their US counterparts in Washington on Monday and reiterated South Korea’s call for the US to exercise the utmost flexibility in allowing it to import Iranian oil,’ Korean Broadcast System (KBS) said Tuesday.

‘The South Korean side emphasized the importance of Iranian condensate for South Korean oil refiners and petrochemicals firms,’ it added.

The US side was represented by Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon and the State Department’s Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, according to the report.

The US representative said that it would consider the request, KBS reported.

Korea is one of the biggest buyers of Iran’s gas and oil. Reports have said that Donald Trump is likely to extend sanctions waivers for China, Japan, Turkey and South Korea for another six-month period. Current waivers will expire in early May.

Anti-Iran sanctions have been imposed unilaterally by Washington after President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.