Following the detention of the South Korean “Hankuk Chemi” tanker by Iranian authorities off Oman, a senior Iranian lawmaker reported that a move by South Korea towards releasing $7 billion in frozen Iranian funds may help the situation.
To remind, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps seized the South Korean-flagged tanker “HANKUK CHEMI” in Gulf waters and detained its crew.
In fact, several Iranian media outlets stated that the Guards navy captured the vessel for polluting the Gulf with chemicals, while the tanker is being held at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port city.
“Although the Korean ship’s seizure was only due to environmental pollution…, Korean action in expediting the return of Iran’s blocked funds may affect the judiciary’s decision in resolving the ship’s seizure”.
…lawmaker Mojtaba Zolnour was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.
On the other hand, Iran has denied allegations that the seizure of the tanker and its 20-member crew amounted to hostage-taking, and said it was Seoul that was holding the Iranian funds “hostage”.
Concluding, Reuters reported that the freezing of some $7 billion of Iranian funds is linked to U.S. sanctions which Washington reimposed on Tehran in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.