South Korean PM arrives in Iran to help try to revive nuclear deal

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South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun arrived in Iran on Sunday to help try to restore a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and unencumber $7 billion in Iranian funds trapped in South Korea, Seoul officers mentioned.

Chung is the primary South Korean prime minister to go to Iran in 44 years amid icy relations between the 2 nations due to Iran’s navy cooperation with North Korea.

Tension rose after Iran seized a South Korean ship and its sailors in the Strait of Hormuz in January, accusing them of polluting the waters, and demanded South Korea launch $7 billion in belongings frozen in South Korean banks below U.S. sanctions.

Chung’s journey comes days after Iran launched the tanker and its captain, the final member of its 20-strong crew, with South Korea vowing to help safe the discharge of the funds.

Iran and world powers held talks final week aimed toward reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that former U.S. President Donald Trump deserted three years in the past.

After talks on Sunday with Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, Chung displayed his willingness to assist efforts to revive the deal, aimed toward stopping Tehran from buying nuclear weapons, formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in accordance to Iranian and South Korean media studies.

A return to the JCPOA would help enhance relations between Seoul and Tehran, Chung mentioned, pledging to step up cooperation with Washington and different nations over the Iranian funds.

The Biden administration is attempting to discover a manner to rejoin the accord and elevate the sanctions at talks in Vienna with Iran, mediated by European signatories. Seoul officers have mentioned they solely can launch the Iranian billions with a nod from Washington.

“The JCPOA negotiations are being pursued constructively and it seems … development of ties and problem resolving are necessary for the wellbeing and advancement of both nations,” Chung advised a joint information convention, in accordance to Iran’s state information company IRNA.

Iran’s overseas ministry mentioned unblocking Iran’s funds was essential to advance relations.

“Our ties have been affected by this issue,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh advised reporters on Monday. “Some solutions have been discussed, but it remains to be seen to what extent and to what extent they will be operational.”

Chung, who visited Iran in 2017 because the nationwide meeting speaker, invited Jahangiri to South Korea, and promised to present medical provides and increase COVID-19 cooperation, IRNA mentioned.

An obvious cyber assault at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday was attributable to an act of “nuclear terrorism”, the nation’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, mentioned, in accordance to state TV, including that Tehran reserves the proper to take motion towards the perpetrators.

Israel’s Kan public radio cited intelligence sources, whose nationality it didn’t disclose, as saying that Israel’s Mossad spy company had carried out a cyber assault on the website.

Israel, which has accused Iran of searching for to construct nuclear weapons that could possibly be used towards it, has not made an official touch upon the incident.

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