South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin speaks during a press conference, after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at the US State Department in Washington, June 13, 2022.

South Korea Says Still Working To Transfer Iran's Frozen Funds

Tuesday, 09/05/2023

South Korea has announced it is actively coordinating with relevant nations in their ongoing endeavors to unfreeze Iranian funds held within its banking institutions.

In a statement released on Tuesday, South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin confirmed that he spoke to Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, his Iranian counterpart, and that he is working to resolve this matter.

This comes following a recent diplomatic agreement between Tehran and Washington, in which Iran agreed to release five imprisoned American citizens in exchange for the release of $6billion frozen Iranian assets in South Korea.

According to reports from South Korean media, these funds, earned from oil sales before the US reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018, have been transferred to the Swiss Central Bank, after which they will be converted into euros and then transferred to an account in Qatar that Iran can access.

American news source CNN, reported in August that the transfer of funds from South Korea to Qatar is likely to take 30 to 45 days.

The official news agency of the Islamic Republic has also confirmed the continuous efforts to transfer Iran's frozen assets from South Korean banks. According to IRNA, Amir-Abdollahian expressed optimism, stating that this development could “mark the commencement of a new phase in bilateral relations, and he welcomes any initiatives that contribute to enhancing ties between the two nations.”

Presently, the five American citizens are under house arrest in Iran. However, specific details regarding the Iranian prisoners to be exchanged with the five individuals as part of the recent agreement have not been publicly disclosed.

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