Oct 18, 2018 04:32 UTC
  • South Korean firms to stay in Iran despite US sanctions: Envoy

South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Ryu Jeong-hyun says companies in his country understand the significance of the Iranian market and will not leave it under the US sanctions.

According to Press TV, the Korean diplomat made the remarks in a Wednesday meeting with Bahman Abdollahi, the Head of the Iran Chamber of Cooperatives, in Tehran.

“Many European companies are leaving Iran, but [South] Korean firms have declared they will stay in Iran,” he said, adding that Korean companies understand how important it is to be present in the Iranian market.

“Our ties are currently influenced by the US sanctions…, but the fact that cooperatives are exempted from these bans gives South Korea a very good opportunity,” the Korean diplomat said.

He also hailed the strategic and significant position of Iran in the region, and underlined that relations between Tehran and Seoul are far beyond bilateral trade.

The Iranian official, in turn, said the Islamic Republic expects South Korea as one of its key business partners to continue its operation in Iran in the situation created by the US sanctions.

Abdollahi said the US bans would not include the cooperatives sector as it is not dependent on the government, and this gives Seoul a great chance to increase its interactions with Iran at a time when European firms are leaving the country.

Given the good history of South Korean firms’ presence in Iran, they can use the opportunity created after the withdrawal of European companies from the Iranian market, and expand their relations with the Islamic Republic, he noted.

Ryu's comments come as several Korean companies have almost suspended selling their products and doing their services in Iran based on contracts they had signed with Iranian firms and organizations after the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the 5+1 group.