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Biz lobby calls for extension of Iran sanctions waiver

All Headlines 11:00 April 17, 2019

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), a major South Korean business lobby, called Wednesday for the extension of a U.S. sanctions waiver granted to Korea on Iranian oil imports.

FKI Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Tae-shin made the request in a letter mailed Wednesday to Francis R. Fannon, assistant secretary for energy resources at U.S. Department of State, the FKI said in a statement.

"The Korean energy industry is gravely concerned about the approaching expiration in early May of the exemption granted to Korea for the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil. On behalf of the Korean business community, we ask you to extend the exemption," Kwon said in the letter.

South Korea has held discussions with the U.S. since November to gain an extended exemption from U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil imports.

As Korean companies heavily rely on Iranian condensate to produce petrochemical products, an end to importing the key raw material will impact the economy, the KFI said.

On Nov. 5 last year, the U.S. granted a six-month waiver to eight countries, including Korea, allowing them to continue to purchase oil from Iran in sharply reduced volumes. The temporary exemption is expected to end on May 3.

In May, Washington declared an exit from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran signed by President Donald Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, and the resumption of tough sanctions in the energy and financial sectors.

This photo taken on Feb. 21, 2019 shows FKI Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Tae-shin (L) shaking hands with Francis R. Fannon, assistant secretary for energy resources at U.S. Department of State, during his visit to the FKI's headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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