S. Korea in talks with U.S. to extend waiver for Iranian oil imports

April 10, 2019

TEHRAN - South Korea is still negotiating with the United States for extending the sanctions waiver on Iranian oil imports, Yonhap reported quoting a Korean government official as saying on Tuesday.

As reported, the two sides had also discussed the matter in another meeting in Washington on Monday.

The working-level consultations were chaired by South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon and Francis Fannon, assistant secretary of state for the bureau of energy resources.

"(We) are continuously requesting a waiver, doing our best, emphasizing the robust South Korea-U.S. alliance and the unique characteristics of the (domestic) petrochemical industry, to which condensate is indispensable," the Korean official said.

In November 2018, The United States granted exemptions to eight countries including South Korea allowing them to continue buying Iranian oil.

South Korean companies stopped importing Iranian crude oil in September 2018, however receiving waivers, after a five-month hiatus, South Korea imported $101.2 million worth of Iranian crude oil in January.

The Northeast Asian country is not an oil producer and more than 13 percent of its total oil purchases come from Iran.

South Korean refiners and chemical firms had relied heavily on Iranian condensate for production of various petrochemical products thanks to a stable supply and price competitiveness.

South Korea is the third-largest buyer of Iranian oil.

EF/MA

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