"US sanctions on Iran have harmed his country’s economy," South Korean ambassador Yun Kang-hyeo told ILNA.
In an exclusive interview with ILNA news agency, Yun told that his country had suffered more than any − other than Iran itself − from ‘maximum pressure,’ under which the US threatens punitive action against anyone buying Iran’s oil or dealing with its financial sector.
Yun criticized the US 2018 withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and its imposition of unilateral sanctions, but argued Seoul had no choice but to comply.
South Korea was among the top buyers of Iran's crude oil before President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
South Korea's petrochemical industries and refineries have faced difficulties due to the break in oil imports, Yun added.
"Korea was importing oil from Qatar, ironically from a field jointly owned by Qatar and Iran, at a higher price."
Yun told that an Iranian home-appliances manufacturer, Snowa, wanted a ban on South Korean imports but that he had urged company officials to extend cooperation with companies such as LG and Samsung.
"The director of Snowa welcomed my suggestion and we proposed to find a good way to cooperate," Yun noted.