Crew of Seized South Korean Ship Allowed to Leave Iran: Spokesman

February 2, 2021

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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says Tehran has, in a humanitarian move, allowed the crew members of the South Korean ship seized by Iran due to environmental concerns, to leave the country.

In a statement on Tuesday, Khatibzadeh said, “Following the South Korean government’s request and through the good offices of the respected [Iranian] Judiciary in accordance with judicial regulations, crew members of the South Korean vessel seized on charges of polluting the environment in the Persian Gulf have been authorized to leave the country in a humanitarian move by the Islamic Republic of Iran."

“Judicial proceedings are underway, in accordance with the law, into the case of violations by the ship and its captain,” the spokesman added.

Khatibzadeh also spoke of a phone conversation between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi and South Korean Deputy Foreign Minsiter Choi Jong-kun.

In the meeting, said the spokesman, the necessity of freeing up Iran’s assets in South Korea was emphasized. The two sides also discussed effective mechanisms to utilize these financial resources.

The Korean side also said Seoul is determined to make utmost efforts to release the frozen assets as soon as possible.