Iran warns against action over seized South Korean vessel

U.S. , France urged the Islamic republic to release the ship

January 11, 2021 10:24 pm | Updated 10:31 pm IST - Tehran

Iran warned on Monday its seizure of a South Korean tanker in the Gulf must not be politicised, after the U.S. and France urged the Islamic republic to release the ship.

"We have repeatedly told... the intervening parties, whether they are the United States or France, that the case does not concern them at all and that they will not help to solve a technical problem if they politicise it," said foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the Hankuk Chemi and arrested its multinational crew of 20 near the strategic Strait of Hormuz one week ago.

The move came as Tehran urged Seoul to release billions of dollars of Iranian assets frozen in South Korea as part of U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. and France have called for Iran to release the ship.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson called the seizure "part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions".

South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun arrived in Tehran on Sunday

with an aim to “negotiate an early release" of the tanker and its crew.

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