A sum of $7 billion in revenue from the sale of petrochemical and oil products is being withheld from the Islamic Republic of Iran between two South Korean banks, Iranian state-run Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday.
In a letter penned to the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the financial dispute over South Korea’s holding of Iranian funds.
The Iranian funds have been frozen in North Korea for some time. In late May, Mehr reported that the US was leading a joint effort with South Korea to unfreeze the funds.
At the time, Mehr cited Korean claims that the release of the Iranian money come under the condition that said money would be used for “public purposes.” It further quoted a South Korean government official as saying, “If all goes to plan, we expect our strained relationship with Iran to improve significantly.”
Additionally, a week later, in June, Mehr reported that the decision to release the $7 billion had been made. Nevertheless, citing “some disruptions,” the Iranian news organization notes this has yet to occur and that the money is still being held due to sanctions on the Persian state.
Iran's ties to terror organizations
Iran, which has been dubbed the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror, faces sanctions from many nations around the world. Additionally, its primary military branch, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been listed on the US State Department’s list of terror organizations since 2019.
Indeed, Iran funds numerous militant Islamist organizations, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, which all actively engage in terror activity against the State of Israel.
Seth J. Frantzman contributed to this report.