Iran pays delinquent UN membership fee with funds frozen in S.Korea

Seoul:┬áIran has paid its dues to the UN with the country’s funds frozen in South Korea in a move to immediately restore its voting power, Seoul’s Finance Ministry said on Sunday.

Iran made an emergency request to South Korea on January 13 for the use of Tehran’s funds in Seoul to pay its dues after being informed by the UN it would immediately lose its voting rights for the arrears, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Iran has more than $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.

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The US reimposed the sanctions on Tehran in 2018 when former 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 UN on Friday, using the Tehran assets frozen in South Korea after consultations with related organisations, including the US Office of Foreign Assets Control and the UN 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 UN fee following a similar case last year.

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