No country entitled to ignore Iran’s rights, Tehran tells Seoul

July 31, 2020 - 18:30

TEHRAN – Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi says no country is entitled to ignore Iran’s rights in favor of a third country, making a reference to South Korea’s freezing of Iran’s money under illegal demand by the United States.

“We informed them that the U.S. sanctions were unfounded and unilateral and no country must succumb to the U.S. sanctions,” Mousavi said on Thursday, according to Mehr.

“No country is entitled to ignore Iran’s rights for a third country,” he added.

Iran has been escalating pressure on the Asian country to release about $7 billion of oil-export revenues, arguing that Seoul is buckling to pressure from the U.S. and illegally withholding funds needed by Iran to counter the coronavirus outbreak.

Also on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry released a statement in response to an article titled “Who emboldened the Koreans?” which was published in the Iranian press and was critical of alleged remarks made by the Iranian ambassador to Seoul in a phone call with the South Korean Foreign Ministry.

“Basically, there was no phone call between the spokesperson of the South Korean Foreign Ministry and the esteemed ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Seoul, and this is a baseless claim altogether,” the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

“The meeting which took place was between the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Seoul and the director-general for Middle East affairs. In the meeting, no mention was made about the comments of the esteemed governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI),” the statement read.

It explained that following the meeting, the Korean news agency Yonhap published a groundless report claiming that the Iranian ambassador had been “summoned”, and attributed certain remarks to the ambassador.

According to the Foreign Ministry, over the past two years, high on the agenda and a pivotal issue in Iran-South Korea relations has been to provide access to the financial resources of the central bank in South Korea. 

It added that in addition to receiving South Korea’s special envoy, dozens of meetings were held in Tehran and Seoul with South Korean authorities. 

“Obviously, the nature of the responsibilities of the Foreign Ministry requires that it should not publicly announce all of its activities,” the ministry highlighted.

“In accordance with its fundamental duties, the Foreign Ministry deliberately facilitates foreign relations, including economic ties with other countries, and stands by other institutions in the country in line with carrying out this mission,” the Foreign Ministry wrote.

It added, “It goes without saying that this does not negate, nor does it replace the basic duty of other institutions, and the Foreign Ministry cannot act on their behalf. So, pertinent authorities are filing a lawsuit against the delinquent Korean banks at competent courts, and this has been announced by the respected governor of the central bank.”

MH/PA

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