(Corrects fifth paragraph to earlier this month, not last
By Yena Park
SEOUL Feb 12 South Korea is set to become the
second Asian nation to make a payment to Iran for crude imports
under an interim nuclear deal that has provided limited
sanctions relief, a banking source told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Iranian central bank has a total of about $4.7 billion
to $5.6 billion in South Korea in two won-denominated accounts,
one at Woori Bank and the other at Industrial Bank
of Korea as of late 2013, according to a second
The two sources declined to be named as the issue is
sensitive. The first source said the payment to Tehran was
expected to be made in early March, but did not specify the
Bank of Korea and South Korean finance ministry officials
contacted by Reuters said no decisions had been made about money
transfers to Iran.
Earlier this month, Japan became the first of Iran's oil
buyers to make a payment for crude imports under the interim
nuclear deal, after the West eased a year-long stranglehold on
revenues that has crippled the Iranian economy. One source
confirmed the Japanese payment was $550 million.
Under a Nov. 24 agreement with six major powers, Iran won
limited sanctions relief including access to $4.2 billion of its
oil revenues frozen abroad by eight money-transfer schedules
through July if it carries out its part of the deal.
($1 = 1070.8500 Korean won)
(Reporting by Yena Park; Writing by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by