Monday, April 12, 2021
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Iran Releases South Korean Oil Tanker

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A South Korean oil tanker held for months by Iran amid a dispute over billions of {dollars} seized by Seoul left port early Friday after the ship and its captain had been launched, simply hours forward of additional talks between Tehran and world powers over its tattered nuclear deal.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry mentioned the MT Hankuk Chemi left an Iranian port round 6 a.m. native time after finishing an administrative course of, and information from confirmed the tanker leaving Bandar Abbas within the early morning hours.

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, later confirmed that Iran had launched the vessel. “At the request of the owner and the Korean government, the order to release the ship was issued by the prosecutor,” Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying by the state-run IRNA news company.

The Hankuk Chemi had been touring in January from a petrochemicals facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to Fujairah within the United Arab Emirates when armed troops from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps stormed the vessel and compelled the ship to vary course and journey to Iran.

Iran had accused the MT Hankuk Chemi of polluting the waters within the essential Strait of Hormuz, however the seizure was extensively seen as an try and stress Seoul to launch billions of {dollars} in Iranian belongings tied up in South Korean banks in response to American sanctions on Iran.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry didn’t elaborate on the phrases of the ship’s launch. Iran in February launched a lot of the ship’s crew.

The Yonhap news company in South Korea, quoting an nameless Foreign Ministry official, prompt that Seoul might repay Iran’s United Nations dues that had been in arrears.

In January, the United Nations mentioned Iran topped a listing of nations that owed cash to the world physique, and the nation dangers dropping its voting rights if the debt concern just isn’t resolved.

The improvement got here as Iran and world powers had been set to renew negotiations in Vienna on Friday to interrupt the standoff over U.S. sanctions in opposition to Iran and Iranian breaches of the nuclear settlement.

The 2015 nuclear accord, which President Donald Trump deserted three years later, provided Iran sanctions reduction in alternate for restrictions on its nuclear program.

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