Seoul Sends Delegation to Tehran ahead of Senior Korean Diplomat’s Visit

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says the South Korean delegation currently visiting Tehran is part of the entourage accompanying the East Asian country’s deputy foreign minister, who is going to visit Iran on Sunday.

Khatibzadeh made the remarks on Thursday when asked about the arrival in Tehran of a South Korean delegation who is reportedly being hosted by the country’s ambassador to Iran.

“The delegation’s visit had been agreed upon before the seizure of the offending Korean vessel,” the Iranian spokesman said.

“Negotiation on how to give Iran access to its financial resources in Korea is the delegation’s main agenda in Tehran,” he added.

On Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam said a delegation, led by Director-General for African and Middle Eastern Affairs Koh Kyung-sok, would soon leave for Tehran to resolve the issue of the seizure of MT Hankuk Chemi tanker through negotiations.

The upcoming visit comes as Iranian authorities have been pressing South Korea to release between $6.5 billion and $9 billion dollars in funds that had been frozen since 2018 when the United States imposed its unilateral sanctions on Iran.
The release of the funds would enable Tehran to purchase medicine and medical equipment needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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