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Iran's CB: Forex Blocked in S. Korea Used to Import Vaccines

Iran's CB: Forex Blocked in S. Korea Used to Import Vaccines
Iran's CB: Forex Blocked in S. Korea Used to Import Vaccines

The Central Bank of Iran said 200 million yuan ($31.25 million) in blocked forex in South Korea has been used for importing vaccines.
The money was paid for another batch of China's Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, the CBI said in a press release published Friday on its website.
Sinopharm was to deliver 3 million doses of the vaccine to Iran, according to Health Ministry. Delays in the delivery of vaccines have created difficulties in the national vaccination program.
In April Hussein Tanhaee, head of the Iran-South Korea Joint Chamber of Commerce, said Iran had used $30 million of its blocked assets in Seoul to pay for the vaccines and other medical needs.
Iran has urged Korea to unlock more than $7 billion of its forex assets held due to the US economic blockade. Korean officials said last month they were in talks with Washington on ways to release the money without violating the unilateral US sanctions.
The East Asian country had earlier agreed to release $1 billion of the assets -- a deal apparently foiled by US obstructionism.
Following talks with the South Korean ambassador to Tehran in February, the former CBI chief, Abdolnasser Hemmati, said the two sides had reached agreement on using "part" of Iran’s forex assets held in that country.
Soon after, the foreign ministry in Seoul said the assets would be released after consultations with the Americans. Unnamed foreign ministry officials then told Korean news outlets that Washington had “agreed in principle” on the partial transfer of Iranian funds to Switzerland, from where it could be used via the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA).
Over 802,500 Iranians have taken two shots of the Covid vaccine and 4.3 million have received the first dose bringing the total number of administered shots to 5.1 million.
According to the Food and Drug Administration of Iran, the country has purchased 5.84 million vaccines from Russia, China, India, Italy and South Korea.
In related news, the Iraqi government was also set to free $125 million in unpaid debts for Iran's vaccine order. The money was to be transferred through a Swiss bank to the Covid Vaccination Global Access (COVAX) program for 16 million doses, the Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said.
Earlier this month Ardakanian said Baghdad would pay for Tehran’s order for Russia's Sputnik-V Covid vaccine as a part of an agreement to settle its debts.
Iran has placed orders for 62 million doses of the Russian vaccine, the ninth batch of 100,000 was delivered on Thursday.


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