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World News

Iran says South Korea holding $7 billion Iran funds 'hostage'

FILE PHOTO: Abbas Araqchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs (R), Behrouz Kamalvandi, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization spokesman (L) and Iran's government spokesman Ali Rabiei attend a news conferenece in Tehran, Iran July 7, 2019. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS.

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iranian government spokesman on Tuesday rejected allegations that Iran’s seizure of a South Korean vessel amounted to hostage-taking, and said was it was South Korea that was holding $7 billion of Iran’s funds “hostage”.

“We’ve become used to such allegations ... but if there is any hostage-taking, it is Korea’s government that is holding $7 billion which belongs to us hostage on baseless grounds,” spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference streamed live online.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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