TEHRAN

Iran on Tuesday released the crew of a South Korean oil tanker seized last month for allegedly causing environmental pollution.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement that the crew, except for the captain, had been released following Seoul’s request.

In a phone call with his South Korean counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi emphasized the importance of releasing Iranian financial assets blocked in the East Asian country as soon as possible, Khatibzadeh said.

Seoul, for its part, pledged to make the “maximum effort” to release the frozen money.

The spokesman added that the judicial process involving the vessel and its captain was ongoing.

The Navy of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps declared on Jan. 4 that they had held the South Korean-flagged oil tanker MT Hankuk Chemi in the Persian Gulf.

Iran is currently cut off from its financial assets in South Korea and other countries due to US sanctions.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat in Ankara

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