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EghtesadOnline: Iranian assets locked in South Korea will be released after consultations with the United States, the foreign ministry in Seoul said Tuesday, after Iran said it had reached a deal with Seoul on how to transfer and use the frozen money.

According to Iran's government website, the agreement was reached Monday in a meeting between Iran's central bank governor, Abdolnaser Hemmati and South Korean ambassador in Iran, Ryu Jeong-hyun.

The two sides agreed on the destinations for the transfer and that the Central Bank of Iran had informed Seoul of the amount  it wants to be transferred.

Tehran has been pressuring Seoul to unblock more than $7 billion of its assets frozen in two South Korean banks due to the US economic blockade. Seoul has been in talks with Washington on ways to release the money without violating the sanctions, including expanding humanitarian trade with Iran. 

"Our government has been in talks with Iran about ways to use the frozen assets, and the Iran side has expressed its consent to the proposals we have made," the foreign ministry in Seoul said without providing further details of the proposals, Yonhap reported.

"Actual unfreezing of the assets will be carried out through consultations with related countries, including the US," the ministry said.

Earlier this month, a Korean Foreign Ministry official said Seoul was finalizing talks with Washington about using some of the frozen funds to pay Tehran's UN dues in arrears, to which Iran had agreed.

To facilitate the trade with Iran of humanitarian items, such as medicine and medical equipment, Korea has been seeking to use a Swiss channel backed by the US, known as the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), to use the money through Swiss companies' sales of goods to Iran. 

Caption: Tehran has been pressuring Seoul to unblock more than $7 billion of its assets frozen in South Korean banks. 


Seoul Iran