By staff and agency

South Korea seeking to facilitate humanitarian transactions with

April 10, 2020 - 20:0

South Korea is also pushing for the Korean Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (KHTA), which uses an Iranian bank free from U.S. sanctions such as the Middle East Bank, to facilitate humanitarian transactions with the Islamic republic.

According to Yonhap news agency, South Korea is also exploring ways to use the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, a payment method designed to facilitate Swiss companies’ sales of food and medicine to Iran, to carry out its transactions with Iran.

“South Korea has won U.S. approval for the resumption of humanitarian exports to Iran under a special license program, with shipments likely to begin next month,” a South Korean Foreign Ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity. 

On Monday, Seoul received the green light for the exports based on the U.S. government's General License No. 8 -- a mechanism to authorize certain humanitarian transactions with Iran even if they involve Iran’s central bank subject to U.S. sanctions.

“On April 6, the humanitarian export process based on the General License No. 8 got underway,” the official said.

“Our companies and banks should prepare documents needed to carry out enhanced due diligence, and we think that the shipments may begin about a month later,” he added.

Though humanitarian exports are not subject to sanctions, South Korean firms had difficulty resuming their sales of medicines and other products to Iran due to fears that they could be affected by the American sanctions.

In total, the U.S. sanctions against Iran run contrary to international law. The Trump administration has been threatening secondary sanctions against countries or companies that do legal business with Tehran.

 
NA/PA

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