The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has criticized South Korea for being swayed by the United States when it comes to releasing Iran’s assets in the Asian country.
Abdolnasser Hemmati made the comment after the publication of media reports quoting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as saying Washington will not release Iran’s assets in South Korea unless Tehran returns to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“From the outset, it was clear that the [South] Korean government cannot decide independently to settle problems pertaining to Iran’s forex resources,” said Hemmati.
“The request for talks [with Iran] was put forward by the [South] Korean ambassador [to Tehran], and it was South Korean officials themselves that agreed to return Iran’s financial resources,” the CBI governor added.
“In that meeting, I asked them whether or not they had gotten the necessary permission from the Americans,” he said.
Hemmati underlined that the CBI is drawing up its plan regardless of its frozen assets in other countries.
“The CBI has regulated its program to meet the country’s forex needs irrespective of its frozen resources in South Korea and other countries,” he said.
Hemmati noted the CBI is using revenues from non-oil exports as well as “imports-for-exports” plans to provide the necessary foreign currency for the procurement of basic commodities, medicines and medical equipment.