SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- Iran has paid its dues to the United Nations with the country's funds frozen in South Korea in a move to immediately restore its voting power, Seoul's finance ministry said Sunday.
Iran made an emergency request to South Korea on Jan. 13 for the use of Tehran's funds in Seoul to pay its dues after being informed by the U.N. it would immediately lose its voting rights for the arrears.
Iran has more than US$7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks -- the Industrial Bank of Korea and Woori Bank -- due to U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. reimposed the sanctions on Iran in 2018 when then U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 landmark nuclear agreement with Iran and five major world powers.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said $18 million, part of the delinquent fees, was paid to the U.N. on Friday, using the Tehran assets frozen in South Korea after consultations with related organizations, including the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.N. Secretariat.
"Iran's right to vote at the General Assembly is expected to be restored immediately with the payment," the ministry said in a statement.
It marks the second time for Iran to use its funds held in South Korea to pay the U.N. fee following a similar case last year.
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