South Korean officials to press for Iran sanctions waiver in United States

SOUTH KOREA : South Korean government officials are expected to press for extending a sanctions waiver on Iran’s petroleum exports that expires in May on a visit to Washington this week. South Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yoon Kang-hyun and other leaders will meet with U.S. State Department officials on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the waiver issued in November to keep buying Iranian oil in exchange for having reduced such purchases, the Seoul government said in a news release on Monday.

The Trump administration has unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, the lifeblood of its economy, as it seeks to curb Tehran’s nuclear and missile ambitions and its influence Syria and other countries in the Middle East.

Washington issued sanctions waivers for eight economies in November, including for South Korea, Iran’s fourth largest oil customer in Asia. But the administration has said it wants the exports to go to zero as quickly as possible.