South Korea pursues resumption of humanitarian trade with Iran

January 8, 2020 - 16:50

TEHRAN – The South Korean foreign ministry has decided to continuously pursue the resumption of trade in humanitarian products with Iran through won-based accounts at Korean banks, IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Financial transactions between Seoul and Tehran for shipments of food and medical items became effectively impossible after Washington toughened sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in September 2019, requiring third countries to provide information on trade with Iran.

In December 2019, Yonhap news agency reported that Tehran has called in the South Korean ambassador to Iran to lodge a complaint, urging Seoul to resume humanitarian trade with the country.

"The Iranian side expressed its position that it hopes for the humanitarian trade to be resumed and is discussing the matter with us,” a Korean foreign ministry official said, according to the report.

"We are in talks with Iran and the U.S. frequently so that the shipments of humanitarian goods like medical supplies can be resumed using the won-based transaction system," the official added.

During a meeting on Tuesday, the South Korean foreign ministry discussed with officials from the industry and economy ministries, and the Financial Services Commission the negative impact of recent tensions between the United States and Iran, which increased after assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani, the IRGC Quds Force commander, was martyred in a U.S. terrorist assault in Baghdad on January 3.

The Korean officials decided to continuously pursue the resumption of trade in humanitarian products with Iran through won-based accounts at Korean banks and help South Korean firms retrieve outstanding contract money from their Iranian clients.

The participating officials decided to offer active support to minimize any damage to their businesses and ensure they can carry out their business activities stably, according to the South Korean ministry.

FB/MG

Leave a Comment

2 + 2 =