U.S. Treasury Secretary, left, meets , the South Korean minister of the economy and finance. Photo by Yonhap

South Korea's finance minister has called for positive U.S. consideration in resolving difficulties facing smaller South Korean companies due to U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Iran Press/Asia News: South Korea's minister of the economy and finance, Hong Nam-ki made the request during his meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers in Japan, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Mnuchin said he hopes the issue can be resolved smoothly through close consultations between South Korea and the United States, the Ministry of Economy and Finance said, without elaborating.

Last month, the U.S. administration told five countries: Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China, and India, that they will no longer be exempt from US sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran after their waivers end on May 2.

In reaction to US announcement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that Iran considers the whole US illegal sanctions and their waivers as worthless.

Smaller South Korean exporters also face difficulties as they have stopped their exports to Iran due to the U.S. sanctions on Iran, the ministry said.

The ministry declined to say how many South Korean companies are affected by U.S. sanctions.

Last week, Hong met with Iran's central bank governor, Abdolnaser Hemmati, in Seoul, and the two sides agreed to closely communicate to address difficulties facing South Korean companies. 

Washington reinstated a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran in early August and re-impose a second batch in November which as Trump said the goal was to bring Iranian oil export to zero.

Earlier on October 14, Referring to US claim that it can reduce Iran's oil exports to zero, Eshagh Jahangiri, Iran's first vice president emphasized the impossibility of the task, saying Washington will fail in its bid.  205/201

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