Washington allows Seoul to compensate an Iranian company… a rare step despite the sanctions

South Korea said Thursday that the United States had allowed it to pay tens of millions of dollars in compensation to an Iranian company to settle a dispute dating back to 2010. in a rare waiver of harsh US sanctions against Tehran.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has received “specific authorization” from the US Treasury to pay compensation of $ 73 billion won ($ 61 million) to the Iranian group Diyani.

“The license allows us to use the US financial system to pay compensation to the Iranian private investor,” he added.

In 2018, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a body of the World Bank, has issued a decision in which ordered Seoul to pay financial compensation to Diani after the South Korean group Daewoo Electronics failed in 2010 in the acquisition of the Iranian group specializing in the production of industrial machinery.

However, this compensation was not possible due to US sanctions imposed on Iran.

Iran was South Korea’s largest trading partner before the United States unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran.

Before these sanctions, Iran exported oil in South Korea and imported industrial equipment, automobile spare parts and household appliances.

And last year, Iran threatened to take legal action against South Korea if it didn’t pay it more than $ 7 billion for exports of Iranian oil that Seoul imported prior to US sanctions, but it wasn’t. in able to pay the price to Tehran due to these sanctions.

In Vienna they are in Negotiations underway to revive the 2015 agreement between Tehran and the six world powers, before the United States withdrew from it under former President Donald Trump in 2018 and reset tough economic sanctions on Iran.

South Korea has sent high-ranking diplomats to the Vienna talks in hopes of making progress on the frozen Iranian funds file.

The United States and its European allies are focusing on the need for Iran to fully return to its commitments under the agreement, which it began renouncing in 2019. in response to Washington’s withdrawal.

The Vienna Agreement allowed for the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, in change of the limitation of its atomic activities and of the guarantee of the pace of its nuclear program. However, its effects have gone nil since Washington withdrew during the Trump era. His successor, Joe Biden, has expressed a willingness to bring his country back to the nuclear deal, but only on condition that Tehran once again complies with its terms.

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