Iran’s central bank has agreed to open won accounts at two South Korean state-owned banks to avert disruption in bilateral trade despite international sanctions, Seoul’s finance ministry has announced.
The Iranian central bank plans to open the accounts with the Industrial Bank of Korea and Woori Bank by the end of this month so that exporters and importers from both countries can settle their transactions in won, it said in a statement.
Trade with Iran accounts for less than 1.5 percent of South Korea’s trade but Iran is an important supplier of crude oil to South Korea, which imports all of its crude needs.
The two countries have settled trade deals in major currencies such as the dollar but international sanctions imposed on Iran over suspected nuclear weapons development have threatened to disrupt commercial links.
South Korea, a close ally of the US, joined the wave of international sanctions on Iran early this month by blacklisting the Seoul branch of Iran’s Bank Mellat and 101 other companies.