The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has submitted a letter of intent (LOI) for ​Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), requesting South Korea to return its frozen assets to its banks.

Iran PressIran News: Seoul has received the LOI last September and has been seeking to resolve the dispute over Iran's frozen assets under US sanctions, a S. Korean diplomat said in Seoul on Friday.

The frozen asset issue started in 2018 when former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reinstated economic sanctions against Iran.

South Korea owes Iran more than $8 billion for gas condensate imports from the country but has so far refused to pay it. South Korea sees unilateral sanctions and the so-called US maximum pressure as an impediment to paying off its debt. The issue has been criticized multiple times by Iranian officials.

Iran will likely complain to the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes if the two countries do not find a negotiated solution within the next six months after accepting the letter.

If the two countries fail to find any solution through negotiations within six months after the LOI  was accepted, Iran may file an Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

Informed sources told Yonhap News Agency on Saturday that officials in Seoul and Tehran are planning a working meeting next month to discuss Iran's frozen assets in South Korea.

Earlier, the deputy foreign ministers of Iran and South Korea met in the Austrian capital Vienna to discuss Tehran's blocked money in Seoul banks.

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"South Korea and Iran plan to hold working-level talks in Seoul next month to find ways to resolve the years-long dispute over Tehran's frozen assets," Yonhap was quoted as saying by an informed source.

At the meeting, which was held at the request of the Korean side and held at the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Vienna, the Deputy Foreign Minister of South Korea, referred to the importance of Seoul-Tehran relations, saying that his country is trying to repay its debt to Iran.


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