Tehran: The talks between Iran and South Korea for release of the South Korean tanker, hijacked from the Persian Gulf, have failed. Iran has demanded that South Korea should not politicise the issue and release the $7 billion, lying in the frozen bank accounts in South Korea. Meanwhile, the South Korean destroyer despatched to secure the hijacked tanker’s release has reached the Strait of Hormuz. Last week, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a South Korean tanker from the Strait of Hormuz. The Revolutionary Guards’ patrol ships surrounded the tanker Hankuk Chemi, loaded with Ethanol, which left Saudi Arabian port of Al-Jubail and took it to Iran. Iran claimed that this tanker had caused damage to the environment. Simultaneously, the Revolutionary Guards published photographs of the tanker and announced that the taker was docked in the Bandar Abbas port.
The real Iranian reason for the hijacking of the tanker was exposed in the next few hours. Nearly, $7 billion, of Iranian funds are lying, in the bank accounts frozen, in view of the US sanctions, in South Korea. The Iranian economy is already in crisis due to the sanctions. In this scenario, Iran has hijacked the tanker to get the funds released from the frozen bank accounts in South Korea.
On Sunday, South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-Kun reached Iran. It is being accused that against the background of his visit, this is an Iranian attempt to influence the negotiations, by taking control of the tanker. But no decision regarding defreezing the accounts to release the tanker’s funds or release could be taken during the negotiations on Monday.
Meanwhile, South Korea has despatched it destroyer to secure the release of its tanker. This destroyer equipped with the special forces has reached near the Strait of Hormuz. It is claimed that this has increased the Iranian restlessness.