Choi Jong-kun, South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister. File Photo

Choi Jong-kun, South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister.

South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Heading To Iran Vienna Talks

1/4/2022

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun has left for Vienna to meet the representatives of Iran and other counties taking part in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

According to the Yonhap news agency on Tuesday, the South Korean official will hold meetings with the negotiating parties until Sunday.

South Korea is not directly involved in the talks to revive the 2015 the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA), but Seoul has been exchanging views about the Vienna talks because some of Iran’s funds are blocked in its banks because of United States sanctions.

Two South Korean banks hold $7 billion of Iran’s funds from the time when Seoul was purchasing oil from Tehran before full US sanctions on Iran’s crude exports were imposed in May 2019.

In an interview in late December, South Korean ambassador in Tehran Yun Kang-hyeo said US sanctions have harmedhis country’s economy.

Yun told the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) that his country had suffered more than any − other than Iran itself − from ‘maximum pressure,’ under which the US threatens punitive action against anyone buying Iran’s oil or dealing with its financial sector.

US Special Envoy for Iran also held a meeting with the South Korean vice foreign minister in October to discuss cooperation over negotiations to restore the nuclear deal.

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