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S Korea delegation holds talks with U.S. over humanitarian exports to Iran

All News 16:45 February 21, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean delegation has met U.S. officials in Washington for talks over Seoul's efforts to resume humanitarian exports to Iran that have been halted due to fears about anti-Tehran sanctions, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Hong Jin-wook, the ministry's director-general for Middle East affairs and head of the delegation, held meetings with Brad Smith, deputy director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department, and Nick Stewart, an official of the State Department, on Thursday.

The delegation's visit to Washington came after another Korean delegation visited Tehran on Monday and Tuesday for consultations over the resumption of humanitarian trade exempt from anti-Iran sanctions.

"The two sides positively evaluated the results of the delegation's visit to Iran and agreed to accelerate follow-up consultations over the resumption of medical and other (humanitarian) exports to Iran," the ministry said in a press release.

South Korea has reportedly sought to export humanitarian products to Iran through a mechanism similar to the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement, which is a payment method designed to facilitate Swiss companies' sales of food and medicine to the Islamic republic.

Though humanitarian exports are not subject to sanctions, South Korean firms had difficulty resuming their sales of medicines and other products to Iran due to fears that they could be affected by the sanctions.

S Korea delegation holds talks with U.S. over humanitarian exports to Iran - 1


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