Top diplomats of S. Korea, Iran hold phone talks on frozen money, nuclear deal

SEOUL-- The top diplomats of South Korea and Iran held phone talks on Thursday to discuss Tehran's money frozen here under U.S. sanctions and ongoing multilateral efforts to restore the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, the foreign ministry said.

The talks between Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and his counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, came as Seoul seeks to maintain close relations with the administration of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, which was launched last month.

In response to Amir-Abdollahian's request for South Korea to redouble efforts to address the issue of Tehran's frozen funds, Chung said that Seoul has made best possible efforts, including using part of the money to pay off Iran's U.N. dues and engage in humanitarian trade.

"Minister Chung stressed ... such efforts will continue going forward," the ministry said in a press release.

Chung also pledged that South Korea will actively explore ways to cooperate with Iran to help the country overcome the ongoing humanitarian crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the minister expressed support for the negotiations over the restoration of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers -- the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- and pledged to continue efforts to back them.

Chung and Amir-Abdollahian shared the need for the two countries to work together to deepen bilateral cooperation, particularly as they mark the 60th anniversary next year of the establishment of their relations.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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