A top Iranian industrialist said on Sunday that South Korean banks have released some segments of Iranian assets that have been frozen in the country’s banks as a result of the sanctions.
Ahmad Mahdavi Abhari, the president of Petrochemical Contractors Union of Iran, has been quoted by the media as saying that the released assets were the debts that South Korea
owed Iran for previous purchases of petrochemical products.
Mahdavi Abhari added that the total amount of Iranian cash that has been frozen in South Korea’s banks for petrochemical imports from Iran is about $1 billion.
He did not specify how much has been exactly released.
The official further emphasized that the banking problems that have been created as a result of sanctions on Iran are still hampering trade with South Korea, adding that it will take several months for them to be resolved now that the sanctions have been lifted.
He said fears of hefty fines by the US on the banks in transactions that involve Iran are still largely obstructing trade with the country.
South Korea has been a main importer of Iran’s petrochemical products over the past years. The country’s imports of petrochemical products from Iran stood at $131 million in 2014 – only 0.3 percent of a total export volume of $47 billion. South Korean IT giants Samsung and LG have specifically been importing significant volumes of petrochemical from Iran. Also, South Korea’s industrial heavyweight Hyundai is currently negotiating over a major investment project in the Iranian petrochemical sector.