The persistent problems in financial transactions with South Korea have damaged the trust of the Iranian people, President Hassan Rouhani said, calling on Seoul to address the banking issues and make it possible for Tehran to use its blocked resources.
South Korea’s new ambassador to Tehran, Yun Kanghyeon, met with Rouhani on Tuesday to submit his credentials.
Describing South Korea as a partner in many major projects in Iran with which Tehran maintained close trade and banking ties in the past, the president said such cooperation has been impeded by the US’ illegal and cruel sanctions in recent years.
Despite the promises that South Korea has made to address those problems, the banking and financial troubles are still in place, Rouhani deplored, saying Iran cannot even have access to its money held in Korean banks for the purchase of medical and pharmaceutical products, including the coronavirus vaccine.
“Using the financial resources in South Korea’s banks is an obvious right of Iran,” the president stressed, saying the persistent problems in Iran’s financial interaction with South Korea have had a great adverse effect on the trust of Iranians, who have been unable to use their assets held by Korean banks after the outbreak of the pandemic.
For his part, the new ambassador said his country is aware of the Iranian friends’ frustration, adding that the situation has been out of control of Seoul.
The envoy said he has a special mission to do his utmost to strengthen the ties with Iran.
Although South Korea is waiting for good results at the conclusion of the talks on the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it won’t waste the time and is preparing the ground for the promotion of bilateral relations with Iran, Yun added.
Back in February, the Central Bank of Iran said it reached an agreement with South Korea on the release of frozen Iranian assets in the East Asian country.
Iran has been pressing South Korea to release between $6.5 billion and $9 billion dollars in funds that had been frozen since 2018 when the US imposed its unilateral sanctions on Iran.
The release of the funds is believed to enable Tehran to purchase medicine and medical equipment needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.