Iran, South Korea should not allow US to harm growing ties: Iranian MP

A senior Iranian lawmaker says Iran and South Korea should not allow the United States’ ill-intentioned attempts to negatively affect growing relations between the two countries and endanger their interests.

In a meeting with South Korea’s visiting First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun on Tuesday, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Mojtaba Zonnour said deep-rooted relations between Tehran and Seoul and the lack of any dark point in bilateral cooperation have prepared an appropriate ground for further expansion of ties in different fields.

He pointed to the move taken by South Korean banks to freeze the Islamic Republic’s assets under US pressure and said officials in Seoul are expected to take a wise measure and release the Iranian resources in order to prevent any damage to mutual relations.

“The inhumane US move to impose sanctions on the Iranian nation is against international rules and regulations and Tehran does not want mutual ties to be affected by the US ill-intentioned policies,” the Iranian legislator said.

The South Korean diplomat, for his part, said he held constructive talks with Iranian officials on ways to promote relations and solve problems in the way of expanding ties.

He added that his country was determined to release Iran’s foreign exchange resources.

Iranian authorities have said on several occasions that they expect South Korea to do more on the release of nearly $8.5 billion blocked illegally in two South Korean banks under the pretext of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Speaking in a meeting with Choi on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that freezing the country’s assets by South Korean banks for fear of US sanctions constitute the main factor that prevents further expansion of relations between the two countries, calling on Seoul to take swift and necessary actions to settle the issue.