S. Korea to dispatch delegation to U.S. for talks on Iran oil sanctions

April 24, 2019 - 19:48

TEHRAN – South Korea is planning to send a high-ranking delegation to Washington this week for follow-up talks on a U.S. decision on ending the sanctions waivers for the country and seven other importers of Iranian oil.

As reported by Yonhap, the delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon, is scheduled to meet with their U.S. counterparts.

"Our goal is to seek consultation. That's what we are trying to do," a foreign ministry official said, without elaborating.

Following the U.S. announcement on Monday regarding the end of exemptions from sanctions on Iranian oil imports, South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement that the government has been negotiating with the U.S. at all levels to extend the waiver, and that it will continue to make every effort to reflect Seoul's position until the May deadline.

Earlier this month, South Korea's finance minister, Hong Nam-ki, held talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington to seek a waiver extension.

South Korea, which relies heavily on Iranian condensate to produce petrochemical products, had been in negotiations with the U.S. to gain an extension to the waiver that expires May 1.

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 Korea is the third-largest buyer of Iranian oil.


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