Iranian officials deny reports about liberating Iranian funds frozen in Iraq and S. Korea
Shafaq News/ The chairmen of Iraq and South Korea joint chambers of commerce refuted media reports about Iraq and Korea liberating $3.5 billion of Iranian frozen funds in corresponding banks.
Yahya Al-Es’has, chairman of Iran-Iraq joint commerce of chamber, and Hossein Tanhaee, head of the Korean chamber, responded to allegations by Ali Naderi, the CEO of the government’s official news agency IRNA, on Friday, that $3.5 billion of Iran’s frozen funds abroad were released recently.
This claim was followed on Saturday by the IRGC "Javan" newspaper that claimed $4 billion has been released “without negotiations”, but providing no details.
Al-Es’haq told Iranian media that Iraq has not freed any of the funds it owes to Iran due to the US banking sanctions and if the news about frozen money being released is true, it could be related to South Korea. Two banks in Seoul hold $7 billion because of US sanctions.
But Tanhaee separately told ILNA news agency late Saturday that South Korea also has not released any funds.
Last week, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said that Korea's first vice minister for foreign affairs, Choi Jong-kun, talked by phone with the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, that Seoul and Washington maintained communication over Iran, especially on Iranian assets locked in South Korean banks.