US accused of blocking S.Korea from unfreezing Iranian assets

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the US of following former President Donald Trump’s “failed policy” on Iran, after American officials stated unwillingness to authorise South Korea to unfreeze Iranian assets.

“The US claims that it favours diplomacy, not Trump’s failed policy of maximum pressure. Yet (State) Secretary (Antony) Blinken boasts about blocking Korea from transferring our own money to the Swiss (financial) channel – only used for food and medicines,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.

“Repeating the same policy won’t yield new results,” he added.

On Wednesday, Blinken dismissed media reports about South Korea transferring $1 billion of Iranian assets to Tehran as “relief” before it “comes back into compliance” with the 2015 nuclear agreement, Xinhua news agency reported.

Iran has repeatedly urged South Korea to provide access to its assets of about $7 billion dollars, which has been blocked by the country’s banks on account of US sanctions imposed on Iran after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.