|S. Korea seeks to enhance trade ties with Iran||
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to send a delegation of business and trade representatives to Iran to expand its bilateral trade with the Middle East country, the government said Sunday.
According to the finance ministry, a business delegation organized by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) plans to visit Tehran and express Seoul's wish to increase trade relations.
The move comes as other nations rush to Iran to seize business opportunities with a country that has been cut off from the international community because of its suspected nuclear development. The U.N. Security Council agreed to relieve some of its sanctions on Iran for six months as of Jan. 20 after Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear activities.
"Trade with Iran has been shrinking as South Korea joined the international community's efforts to punish Iran," a KITA official said. The delegation will help relay a clear message to the Iranian government that South Korea hopes to improve its ties with Iran, the official added.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the delegation will likely include representatives from the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, as well as from automobile and trading companies.
In addition to business relations, the country will seek to expand its humanitarian activities with Iran, according to government officials.
The government allowed local firms to arrange government-to-government transactions of humanitarian goods, such as food and medicine, with Iran in September.
Starting this year, local firms were also allowed to engage in government-to-business or business-to-business transactions with Iran.
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