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Iran says South Korea holding $7 bln Iran funds ‘hostage’

Published: Updated:

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”.

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“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.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters, Iranian media said on Monday, at a time of tension between Tehran and Seoul over Iranian funds frozen at South Korean banks due to US sanctions.

South Korea’s foreign minister said on Tuesday she is making diplomatic efforts to secure the release of a South Korean-flagged tanker seized by Iran, Yonhap news agency reported.

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