According to Yonhap News Agency, Iranian-Korea Federation of Industry and Commerce President Hussein Danhai said in an interview with the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on the 3rd local time that Iran is working with the South Korean government on the use of frozen funds in South Korea to purchase Coronavirus vaccine.
Dan Hay said that the South Korean government has not taken practical actions such as unfreezing funds, but the two countries have begun to discuss plans for the use of the funds.
Frozen funds should be used first for the purchase of Coronavirus vaccine, and the Iranian Ministry of Health is formulating relevant procedures.
It is reported that in order to join the Covid-19 Vaccine Guarantee Mechanism (COVAX), Iran has asked the South Korean government to transfer funds frozen in Bank of Korea to relevant accounts as vaccine payment.
In response, Korean domestic banks proposed to Iran a plan to transfer funds without violating U.S. sanctions, but they have not yet received an answer from Iran.
Some people in the South Korean government believe that in view of the sanctions exemption for the transactions of humanitarian goods such as medicines, the plan to use frozen funds to purchase vaccines may be approved.
The U.S. government once approved South Korea’s Woori Bank and IBK Corporate Bank to open Korean Won settlement accounts for goods transactions with Iran.
However, the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement in 2018 and included the Central Bank of Iran on the sanctions list, and transactions in this account were also forced to be suspended.