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US urges South Korea to reduce Iranian oil imports

A senior US diplomat, Robert J. Einhorn, urged South Korea to work with the US and increase pressure on Iran, during a visit to Seoul.

Einhorn, the US State Department's special advisor for non-proliferation and arms control, met South Korea's deputy foreign minister, Kim Jae-shin on Tuesday.

Einhorn said,

“We are urging all of our partners to help us, to work with us in putting more pressure on the government of Iran to get them to negotiate seriously,”

“In particular, we are urging them to reduce their purchases of crude oil from Iran, and we are urging them to unwind their financial dealings with the Central Bank of Iran.

“We are confident that working together we can send this signal, and we can do it without the adverse effects that I know many in South Korea are concerned about,”

Jae-shin remained sceptical however:

“[South Korea was] committed to strongly supporting and participating in international efforts” to end the Iranian nuclear dispute"

“But many South Koreans are quite worried that further strengthening sanctions against Iran may at this time destabilize the international market of crude oil.”

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