S.Korea hopes for progress in Iran nuclear negotiations

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South Korea welcomed on Monday the resumption of negotiations on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and expressed hope for “substantive progress,” amid the ongoing diplomatic row over Teheran’s assets frozen here under US sanctions.

The US, Iran and five world powers gathered in Vienna earlier in the day to discuss ways to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which imposed limits on Teheran’s nuclear programme in exchange for eased sanctions. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia were also involved in the talks, Yonhap news agency reported.

“The Korean government looks forward to substantive progress and encourages all parties involved to engage with patience,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added it hopes all parties concerned will reach agreement on the nuclear accord and faithfully comply with it to promote regional peace and stability.

For its part, the Seoul government vowed to continue “diplomatic efforts” to revive the landmark deal, considering the significance of the alliance with the US as well as its relations with Iran.

Although Seoul is not part of the multilateral accord, it has closely communicated with Washington on the matter amid a prolonged diplomatic feud with Iran over its assets here frozen under fresh US sanctions.

About $7 billion worth of Iranian assets remain locked in South Korean banks under US sanctions that were put back in place following Washington’s 2018 withdrawal from the JCPOA.

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