By AMIR VAHDAT , Associated Press
January 10, 2021 – 8:30 PM
TEHRAN, Iran — A South Korean diplomatic delegation arrived in Iran on Sunday to negotiate the release of a vessel and its crew seized by Iranian forces amid an escalating financial dispute between the countries, Iranian state-run media reported.
The South Korean-flagged tanker seizure by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in the crucial Strait of Hormuz came as Iranian officials have been pressing South Korea to release some $7 billion in assets tied up in the country’s banks due to American sanctions. It appeared the Islamic Republic was seeking to increase its leverage over Seoul ahead of South Korea’s pre-scheduled regional trip, which included a stop in Qatar.