Ministry lodges protest over Iranian envoy’s reported mention of possible end of Seoul-Tehran ties

SEOUL-- The foreign ministry has called in Iran's top envoy in South Korea to lodge a protest over his reported remarks hinting at the possibility that Tehran could sever ties with Seoul should it send troops to the tense Strait of Hormuz, an official said Saturday.

On Friday, the ministry brought in Iranian Ambassador to South Korea Saeed Badamchi Shabestari and checked if he made the remarks as reported in the local daily Joong-Ang Ilbo on the day, according to the official.

The ambassador reportedly told the ministry that he did not directly mention the possible severing of the bilateral ties, although he said Seoul's participation in a U.S.-led maritime security campaign in the strait could have an impact on the Seoul-Tehran ties.

"We called in the ambassador as we felt the need to deliver our concerns had it been true that an ambassador who is in Korea to maintain friendly bilateral ties has directly talked of the severing of ties," the official said.

"We have listened sufficiently to his explanations," the official added.

Seoul has been mulling whether to send forces to the strategically vital waterway off Iran as the U.S. is calling on its allies to join efforts to safeguard the strait amid high military tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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