CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Top Iranian envoy hints at easing tension over possible sanctions

08-12-2010 10:17 BJT

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- As South Korea mulls seeking independent sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, the top Iranian envoy to Seoul has been vocal in warning of its potentially harmful consequences.

Iran's Ambassador to South Korea, Mohammad-Reza Bakhtiari, openly warned in his previous interviews with local media that Seoul will be risking its good ties with Tehran and its financial interest if it hops on a U.S.-led bandwagon to impose additional sanctions against his country.

In what might be a hint at a thawing of tension, however, the ambassador seemed to have toned down his remarks on the issue.

"( I) think normal relations that have existed between South Korea and Iran can continue," Bakhtiari said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday with Xinhua.

South Korean officials have expressed they will not to pursue unilateral sanctions against Iran, a decision Iran "warmly welcomes and respect," he said.

As an ally to Washington, Seoul has been under pressure to follow the U.S. lead to pressure Iran into dropping its alleged nuclear ambition.

"There is no obligation whatsoever put on the shoulders of the South Korean government, or any other independent countries, to follow suit with Americans or the European Union," the envoy added, referring to their decision to further punish Iran after the United Nations introduced new sanctions in July against the country for failing to abide by international nonproliferation obligations.

"They are not representing the whole world," Bakhtiari said.

Being a country entirely dependent on oil imports, South Korea' s biggest fear has been a possibility that Iran, the fourth- largest source of crude oil for the country, might cut its oil supplies.

But Iran will not take such a drastic action against its longtime customer, the envoy said."We have tried to become a very reliable source of oil and energy for South Korea, and we both enjoy benefits of such healthy cooperation," Bakhtiari said.

Related stories


Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program