Iran frees S.Korean ship, captain after promise to help with frozen funds

They accused it of polluting the waters with chemicals. The issue triggered a diplomatic dispute after Iran demanded that South Korea release $7 billion in funds frozen in South Korean banks under U.S. sanctions.

Reuters | Seoul | Updated: 09-04-2021 10:02 IST | Created: 09-04-2021 09:40 IST
Iran frees S.Korean ship, captain after promise to help with frozen funds
Representative Image Image Credit: Wikimedia

Iran released on Friday a South Korean ship and its captain detained since January after South Korea promised to try to secure the release of Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks under U.S. sanctions, a South Korean official said. Iranian authorities seized the chemical tanker in the Strait of Hormuz off Oman. They accused it of polluting the waters with chemicals.

The issue triggered a diplomatic dispute after Iran demanded that South Korea release $7 billion in funds frozen in South Korean banks under U.S. sanctions. Iran agreed to free all of the ship's 20 crew members except for the captain in February after a South Korean vice foreign minister visited Tehran.

A South Korean foreign ministry official told reporters that both sides had agreed the ship and the funds were not related issues and South Korea promised to help get the money released. "We have expressed our firm willingness to resolve the fund issue," said the official, who declined to be identified.

The South Korean ministry said in a statement the ship had left Iran after completing administrative procedures. It made no mention of the demand for the release of funds. "The captain and sailors are in good health," the ministry said.

South Korea said the vessel did not cause any pollution. The ministry official said Iran dropped a plan to pursue seek criminal charges against the shipping company. Iran has denied allegations that the seizure of the tanker and its crew constituted hostage-taking, saying it was South Korea that was holding Iranian funds hostage.

The freezing of the funds is linked to U.S. sanctions that Washington reimposed on Tehran in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Under the Joe Biden administration, the United States and Iran have begun indirect talks over a return to the accord.

The United States has recently agreed to allow Iran to use the funds for non-military purposes and it has spent some on coronavirus vaccines secured via the global COVAX initiative, the ministry official said, without giving a precise amount.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

COVID-19: PM Modi briefed about production capacity of medical oxygen to meet rising demand, say officials.

COVID-19 PM Modi briefed about production capacity of medical oxygen to meet rising demand, say officials....

C'garh: Two policemen hacked to death in Sukma

Two policemen were allegedly hacked to death by unidentified persons in Chhattisgarhs insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said on Friday.The bodies of assistant constables Dhaniram Kashyap and Punem Hadma, bearing injuries inflicted by sh...

EXPLAINER-Post-Merkel paralysis: Why Germany's conservatives can't decide on a successor

Germanys ruling conservative bloc is struggling to settle on a candidate to run for chancellor in a federal election in September when Angela Merkel will step down after 16 years in power. Pressure is mounting on the conservatives to agree ...

Tips for Video Conferencing like a Professional on Microsoft Teams

With the pandemic gripping the world, organizations are shifting to a work-from-home model and video conferencing is an integral part of that remote-work-from-home model. With the assistance of video conferencing, team members, sitting at d...

Give Feedback