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U.S. diplomat calls on S. Korea to join anti-Iran sanction

(Xinhua)

13:41, January 17, 2012

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. diplomat on Tuesday called on South Korea to join a U.S.-led campaign to punish Iran over its controversial nuclear program by reducing oil imports from the oil- rich country.

Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department's special adviser for non-proliferation and arms control, arrived in Seoul Monday for a three-day trip involving talks with foreign and finance ministry officials here.

"We are urging (our partners) to reduce their purchase of crude oil from Iran and their financial dealings with the central bank of Iran," Einhorn said in a meeting with South Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-Shin, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Kim reaffirmed Seoul's commitment to international efforts to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, while voicing concern over possible economic fallout from the measure in a country that relies on Iran for 9.6 percent of its crude oil supplies.

"I do hope we closely cooperate with each other and try to minimize this adverse effect," Kim reportedly told Einhorn.

The visit by Einhorn, who is accompanied by Daniel Glaser, the U.S. Treasury's deputy assistant secretary, came after the United States slapped fresh economic sanctions on Iran by banning financial institutions doing business with Iran's central bank from the U.S. market.

The measure is seen as an attempt to cut off Iran's oil revenue.

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