U.S. waivers Iranian oil trade, allowing access to frozen assets in S.Korea, Japan

July 14, 2021 - 16:35

TEHRAN - The U.S. State Department has waived sanctions on Iran's oil trade allowing the Islamic republic to access its frozen funds in South Korea and Japan to use them for importing goods from the mentioned countries, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The waiver, signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, allows the transfer of Iranian funds to exporters in Japan and South Korea, according to a notification sent to U.S. Congress by the State Department.

The waiver allows Iranian money that had been frozen as a result of American sanctions to be freed up without violating the law.

"Allowing these funds to be used to repay exporters in these jurisdictions will make those entities whole with respect to the goods and services they exported to Iran, address a irritant recurring in important bilateral relationships,” the waiver states.

As reported, the waiver has been given to the Japanese and South Korean governments for 90 days allowing them to complete their transactions.

“The secretary of state previously signed a waiver to allow funds held in restricted Iranian accounts in Japan and Korea to be used to pay back Japanese and Korean companies that exported non-sanctioned items to Iran,” a State Department spokesperson said.

The waiver comes during an almost one-month pause in the talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which the former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 and reimposed sanctions mainly targeting Iran’s oil sector.

Last week, senior economy officials from South Korea and the United States held talks on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Venice, Italy to discuss releasing Iran’s frozen oil money in Korean banks.

Several billions of dollars of Iranian oil revenues have been frozen in South Korean and Japanese banks since September 2019, when Washington's sanctions waiver for the Asian countries' imports of Iranian oil expired.


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