TEHRAN - Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Saleh-Abadi said on Saturday that the process of unfreezing the Iranian assets blocked in two South Korean banks is underway.

 

Saleh-Abadi declined to provide any more details on the release of the Iranian assets, IRNA reported.

 

He also touched upon the government’s plans to control the hard currency market and said that as measures were taken earlier to contain the gold coin market, the CBI has plans to introduce a package within the next few days to bring the hard currency market under control.

 

According to CBI, over seven billion dollars of Iranian oil revenues have been frozen in two South Korean banks since September 2019, when Washington's sanctions waiver for South Korea's imports of Iranian oil expired.

 

Over the past two years, Senior South Korean and Iranian officials have been negotiating to explore methods to restore bilateral relations strained by the problem of Iranian funds frozen in the country.

 

Iran has repeatedly called on Seoul to abandon its “illegal” policies and release the Iranian assets that it has frozen due to the sanctions.

 

South Korean Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Choi Jong Kun visited Iran in January 2021 and met with senior Iranian officials including the CBI former governor for discussing ways for resolving the issue.

 

After the Korean official’s visit to Iran, the two sides finally agreed that South Korea should provide the necessary monetary channels for Iran to be able to use its assets in this country for purchasing essential goods through third countries.

 

Later in February that year, head of Iran-South Korea Joint Chamber of Commerce Hossein Tanhaei said that $1 billion of Iran’s frozen funds in South Korea were going to be transferred to an Iran-Switzerland financial channel to be paid for foodstuff, medicine, and medical equipment.