Korean Minister visits Vienna for talks on frozen Iranian assets | World news
PARIS (Reuters) – A senior South Korean diplomat will hold talks with Iran and world powers in Vienna this week on how to resolve the issue of frozen Iranian assets held in the Asian country, the South Korean ministry said on Tuesday. Korean Foreign Office.
Indirect talks between Iran and the United States over the bailout of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed on Monday.
Diplomats of all stripes have indicated that they hope for a breakthrough by the end of January or early February, but strong differences remain as the more difficult issues remain unresolved.
However, the arrival of South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun could be a positive signal. Iran has repeatedly called for the release of its assets frozen in several countries due to US sanctions, including $ 7 billion in South Korea. Any release will have to be approved by Washington.
The ministry said in a statement that the delegation would “explore ways to resolve the problem of Iranian assets frozen in Korea” through consultations on the sidelines of nuclear negotiations with Iran and in coordination with the United States, France. , Germany and Great Britain.
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The eighth round of talks, the first under new radical Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, resumed Monday after adding new Iranian demands to a working text. Western powers have said progress is too slow and that negotiators have “weeks and not months” left before the 2015 deal becomes meaningless.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson again warned Iran on Tuesday that time is running out to save the deal.
Little remains of this agreement, which lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its atomic activities. Then-President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in 2018, reimposing US sanctions, and Iran subsequently violated many of the deal’s nuclear restrictions and has continued to go far beyond.
Iran refuses to meet with US officials directly, which means other parties, including Russia and China, have to shuttle back and forth between the two sides.
The United States has repeatedly expressed frustration with this format, saying it slows down the process, and Western officials still suspect Iran is playing just to buy time.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
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