In the wake of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s election in June and warming ties between Iran and the United States, South Korean and Iranian diplomats met in Seoul, Tuesday to discuss ways to boost bilateral relations.
A group of senior Foreign Ministry officials, including First Vice Minister Kim Kyou-hyun, met with the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Rasoul Mohajer to exchange views on ways to bolster cooperation between the two nations, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
South Korean and Iranian officials discussed ways the two nations can bolster bilateral ties in areas including political, economic, cultural, and even parliamentarian exchanges, as well as a state visit to Tehran by Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyoung-soo in late November.
“Oil sanctions were not discussed specifically, because that is a multilateral issue involving many other countries,” said Soltan Ahmadi, a diplomat in charge of media affairs at the Iranian Embassy here. “Removing sanctions requires a step-by-step process.”
Iranian and South Korean officials previously met in Tehran in June.
Iran’s monthly revenues from crude oil exports averaged $3.4 billion in the first half of 2013, down from $6.3 billion in the first half of 2012, and $8 billion in the first half of 2011, according to an Israeli media outlet. South Korea has drastically reduced its imports of Iranian crude since late 2011, when it relied on Iranian oil imports for about 10 percent of its needs.