Iran releases captured South Korean tanker
The South Korean ship captured by Iran earlier this year has been released by the country. The South Korean Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Iran had also released the captain.
Teacher’s Office NT / ANP
The oil tanker was part of a political dispute between the two countries. Iranian Revolutionary Guards say the tanker was seized on January 4 for allegedly spilling oil from a ship in the Persian Gulf.
The owner of the ship, DM Shipping, said there was no immediate pollution. The South Koreans soon suspected that this was a political decision because a lot of Iranian money had been frozen by the South Korean National Bank.
Iran is a major oil supplier to South Korea. But the South Koreans were forced to give up Iranian oil in 2018 and can no longer exchange money for oil supplied to Iran. This default is the result of the severe US sanctions announced by then-President Donald Trump against Iran in 2018.
In February, South Korea reported that an agreement had been reached with Iran on the blocked Iranian oil dollars. It is only waiting for US approval.