By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
It is gross injustice, or more properly outright fraud, on the part of countries purchasing crude oil and other goods from Iran worth billions of dollars and then refusing to pay the money on a variety of lame pretexts, including the criminal sanctions the US has imposed for the sole reason the Islamic Republic does not bow to its dictates.
With the UN being a passive spectator of Washington’s international terrorism, there is no choice for Tehran but to aggressively pursue the case of its illegally frozen assets by unprincipled and fraudulent customers who are complicit in US crimes.
There is no question of Iran meekly submitting to this blackmail and waiting in vain for the Americans to show some flexibility so that it could beg for the release of its own money in installments, rather than getting back the full payment along with the interests accrued and the damages incurred.
An example in this regard is South Korea, a country created by the Americans in 1948 by dividing the Korean Peninsula at the 38th parallel and installing a regime that not only holds 51 million people hostage to US interests, but is forced to host thousands of terrorists from the other side of the world so as to prevent unification of this ancient east Asian land.
Currently, Seoul holds in its banks some ten billion dollars of money it owes to the Islamic Republic for crude oil purchases and is making all sorts of silly excuses to transfer it to Tehran.
Now comes the news that South Korea has agreed to release only "a part” of this huge amount of Iranian money, following a meeting in Tehran yesterday between its ambassador Ryu Jeong-hyun and Chief of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdon-Nasser Hemmati.
The CBI statement said an agreement was reached on how the undisclosed paltry amount of Iran’s illegally withheld money will be transferred to desired destinations.
It is nothing but peanuts, although Hemmati told Ryu that Iran will continue its legal efforts to obtain damages incurred from a "lack of cooperation by South Korean banks”.
It is not known what measures Iran will take to compel fraudulent customer South Korea pay back the complete amount of ten billion dollars.
Hopefully, Iran will get back its money, not only from South Korea but also from other countries which have resorted to the same fraudulent policy of refusing to pay for oil and other imports from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time these countries have betrayed Iran’s trust in them following the illegal sanctions of the thug Donald Trump, who is now no longer the US president.
They had committed the same crime over a decade earlier during a similar policy of blackmail by Barak Obama, before releasing the illegally frozen Iranian money in installments or forcing Iran to enter into barter agreements, when the US lifted part of the sanctions after compelling Iranian negotiators to sign a flawed accord in Geneva in 2015 that reduced enrichment from 20 to a mere 3.67 percent, and gave Washington the veto power to endorse the deal every three months.
In view of this bitter experience, Iran ought to be extra cautious in trade transactions with weak or opportunist regimes, such as that of South Korea.
At the same time, no matter what the JCPOA meets, on no account should the Islamic Republic compromise its independence and sovereignty by holding talks on issues of vital interest to Iran and the Iranian people, such as nuclear, missile, and other national development projects, as well as its stabilizing role in the region to help the legal governments and the popular movements fight terrorism and the US bid to impose its hegemony.