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S.Korea trying to keep business with Iran despite sanctions

Beijing, A South Korean delegation is visiting Washington to discuss Iran sanctions waiver, a Korean news agency reported on Friday.

The delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon has met with Francis Fannon, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Energy Resources, as well as a number of other related US officials, the state-funded news agency Yonhap said.

The talks are following another round of bilateral negotiations in June on the sanctions Washington has imposed on Iran, according to the report.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, France, Britain, China, and Russia) plus Germany signed the nuclear deal in 2015. Iran accepted to curb its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

The US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal on May 8, calling it the worst deal ever. Washington has also re-imposed the economic sanctions the first set of which will take effect on August 6.

The US has urged its allies to cut their oil imports from Iran by November 4. The decision has prompted some major customers of Iran crude, such as South Korean and India, to explore ways for escaping the demand.

'South Korean refiners put money into bank accounts here for oil imports from Iran, whose firms pay for the purchase of South Korean products through them,' according to Yonhap.

'The two-way trade volume totaled US$12 billion in 2017, with South Korea exporting $4 billion worth of products,' the report said.

The Korean official, Yun, has emphasized his country's position in favor of peaceful resolution to Iran's nuclear issue, according to the Northeast Asian country's ministry of foreign affairs.

It is also expected that South Korean companies receive a waiver to continue their business with Iran, according to the report.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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