The Christian Science Monitor
September 8, 2020
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
South Korea on Wednesday reluctantly joined the US-led drive for sanctions against Iran after an internal struggle that pitted financial interests against diplomatic interests – and strained the US-Korean alliance.
Under US pressure, the South Korean foreign ministry added the names of 102 Iranian firms and 24 people to the blacklist of those with whom South Koreans cannot do business and also promised to inspect cargo from Iran more diligently and hold back on investment in oil and gas enterprises.
The foreign ministry, however, did not shut down the Seoul branch of Bank Mellat, which US agents have pinpointed as a crucial conduit for Iranian business in the region. Rather, the ministry said the bank would face “severe” unspecified penalties that may include a temporary suspension of activities, but not the complete closure the US had wanted.