Washington has reportedly agreed in principle on the partial transfer of Iranian funds held by South Korean banks under U.S. sanctions to Switzerland.
A senior official at the Foreign Ministry told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. has in effect agreed to the plan, but added further discussions remain on the method of transfer.
The governments of South Korea and the U.S. have discussed wiring the Iranian assets to Switzerland, from where it can be sent back to the Middle East country via the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement(SHTA).
The SHTA seeks to ensure that Swiss-based exporters and trading companies in the food, pharmaceutical and medical sectors have a secure payment channel with a Swiss bank, through which payments for their exports to Iran are guaranteed.
According to Iranian state news agency IRNA, Iran's Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati told reporters on Wednesday that Iran will receive one billion U.S. dollars from South Korea, as the first tranche of some seven billion dollars in frozen assets that Seoul has agreed to release.