Korea to significantly cut oil imports from Iran

Posted on : 2012-01-17 11:48 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Visiting advisor Robert Einhorm to determine extent of sanctions
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By Park Byong-su, Senior Staff Writer

Robert Einhorn, Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the State Department, visited Korea on Monday to discuss methods of sanction on Iran. Einhorn will stay in Korea until Thursday to discuss the nature of sanctions on Iran and carry out plans in accordance with the recently ratified United States' National Defense legislation. Einhorn will visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, and Ministry of Strategy and Finance to meet Korean high-level officials. Einhorn visited Korea last December to request Korea's participation in the State Department's additional sanctions against Iran, which the United States announced a month earlier. At that time, the Korean government identified financial institutions that have relations with the Iranian nuclear program.

During this visit, Eihorn is expected to ask Korea to reduce oil imports from Iran. The national defense legislation which was passed on the 1st of January states that any institution that conducts transactions with the central bank of Iran cannot conduct business with financial institutions of the United States. Therefore, if this law is ratified, import of Iranian oil will become impossible. The Korean government is expected to gradually reduce the import of Iranian oil and request exceptions from the national defense law. If exception from the national defense law is granted, oil imports of Iran must be reduced significantly. One government official stated, "Reduction in inevitable, and we will adjust the method and the amount of reduction after hearing the explanations from Einhorn."

(Translated by Joon-ki Kim, Intern)

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