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Iran’s $18 million UN dues paid by Seoul with frozen funds

South Korea has stated that Iran is expected to regain its vote in the UN General Assembly after it paid Tehran’s delinquent dues to the UN body with Iranian funds frozen in the country.

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South Korea has stated that Iran is expected to regain its vote in the UN General Assembly after it paid Tehran’s delinquent dues to the UN body with Iranian funds frozen in the country.

The announcement made on Sunday resembled a similar case in June 2021, when Iran regained its UN voting rights after managing to make its payment on its arrears.

However, it announced that US sanctions had impeded its ability to pay for the second year in a row earlier this month.

The approval of the US is required for the release of Iran’s frozen funds. Washington joined its European allies this week in saying only weeks remain to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the negotiations of which are ongoing in Vienna.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by re-imposing a series of US sanctions. This prompted Iran on rolling back from its compliance with the deal.

The finance ministry said in a statement that Seoul “completed the payment of Iran’s UN dues of about $18 million through the Iranian frozen funds in South Korea, in active cooperation with related agencies such as US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the United Nations Secretariat” on Friday.

The ministry added that Iran’s right to vote at the General Assembly is expected to be restored immediately with the payment.

The South Korean ministry expressed that Iran asked the country last week to help pay the UN contribution with the frozen funds on concerns of the loss of its right to vote in the 193-member General Assembly.

Saying Seoul was holding the money “hostage,” Tehran has repeatedly demanded the release of about $7 billion of its funds frozen in South Korean banks under US sanctions.

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