south Korea is in consultations with Iran over the proposed use of Tehran’s funds, frozen under the US sanctions, to help it pay dues to the United Nations and regain its voting rights, a South Korean source reported.
Last week, the UN notified Iran that it would immediately lose its voting rights for the arrears, reportedly worth US$18.4 million, along with seven other UN member states, under the UN Charter, Yonhap reported.
Iran has more than $7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks — the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and Woori Bank — due to US sanctions. Iran has demanded the release of the money, a major sticking point in bilateral relations.
The two sides are seeking to capitalize on the assets to handle the problem of the delinquent US dues, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Our government is in consultations with the Iranian government in that regard and is in related consultations with the US and the UN as well,” one of the sources told Yonhap News Agency.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country is looking for “a safe channel” for faster payment of the UN membership fee, with relevant talks underway.
In 2021, the UN deprived Iran of its voting rights for some financial issues, the source also claimed, adding, ‘The US agreed to enable Tehran to use some of the funds held at the IBK for the payment of a minimum amount of fee for the year and the restoration of its voting power.”
Earlier, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in reaction to the suspension of Iran’s voting right in the United Nations has said that unfortunately for the second consecutive year due to the unjust and illegal US sanctions Tehran faced difficulties in payment of membership fees to the United Nations.
Iran, as one of the founding and active members of the United Nations naturally considers itself committed to full payment of its membership fees to the United Nations and other international organizations and agencies, Khatibzadeh said.