Wednesday, May 22, 2013


 Despite Iran’s close ties with North Korea and South Korea’s bond with the U.S., the two countries have maintained a historically friendly and strategic relationship with each other.  In fact, South Korea is one of Iran’s foremost commercial partners, even though a 2012 poll taken revealed that only 10% of South Koreans viewed their country’s Iranian influence positively, whereas 79% believed their relationship with Iran was detrimental.

According to Ettelaa, Iran’s international newspaper, they (Iran) have expanded their ties with South Korea. Their announcement said that prominent Iranian and South Korean lawmakers in a meeting in Tehran underlined the necessity for the further development of the relations between the two Asian countries.

The issue was raised in a meeting between Vice-chairman of Iran-South Korea Parliamentary Friendship Group Mohammad Ali Esfanani and a member of the South Korean parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Chung Moon Hu. During the meeting, Esfanani stressed that abundant potentials existed for both countries to consolidate their relations. Hu added, "Iran and South Korea are two strong, important and influential countries in the international arena, which is a good feature and quality for the expansion of their mutual cooperation."

Moon Hu, for his part, underscored the necessity for the further development of the bilateral ties, adding, "We hope to see further progress in the growing trend of the relations and cooperation between Iran and South Korea through the strenuous efforts of both sides."

In relevant remarks in October, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underscored the age-old and cordial relations between Tehran and Seoul, and said both Iran and South Korea oppose unilateralism and seek a fair world order-
"Iran and South Korean relations are cultural and historical; both Seoul and Tehran are opposed to unilateralism and oppression in the international relations and want a new world order which would guarantee respect for entire world countries' sovereignty as well as ensuring peace and justice for all (Did I hear that right? Even Israel?); achieving a new World Order needs cooperation and participation of all nations," Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with Sung Wung Yeub at the time.

I firmly believe that “money talks” and the cordial ambassadorial talk between Ahmadinejad and Sung Eung Yeub is, if I may be tactless… unadulterated bullshit. Both countries profit from strong economic ties with bilateral trade topping $10 billion. Be damned with Iran’s intentions of developing nuclear armaments with missile delivery capabilities- South Korea’s Trade-Investment Promotion Agency trendsetter, Hong Ki-Wha, vowed in 2007 to boost trade with Iran. In fact, he is encouraging South Korean companies to invest in Iran and vice versa.

And, be damned with the world's economic sanctions to persuade Iran to halt development of nuclear technology- a Middle East Economic Survey revealed that Iran exported 157,000 barrels of crude oil per day to South Korea in 2009, making Iran South Korea’s fourth largest source for crude oil.

I feel South Korea is excessively trusting of Iran’s economic and diplomatic bargains…blinded by greed or gullible, perhaps. They should judge Iran’s mullah-driven government by their actions and not by their lexis. After all, South Korea’s astringent northern neighbor yearns to absorb them into their despotic domination. They ignore the fact that Pyongyang equipped Tehran with advanced missiles capable of targeting distant Western European capitals. Seoul would make an unproblematic target.  A recent U.N. report accused North Korea and Iran of regularly exchanging ballistic missile components and technology. Doesn’t South Korea realize that, by and by, Iran will have nuclear missiles targeting Seoul? Perhaps, the South Korean government should follow the wishes of their citizens- 79 percent of S. Koreans believe their country's relationship with Iran is detrimental.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes about the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any 
organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

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