Iran’s foreign minister told a South Korean delegation in Tehran on Monday that the release of its vessel and crew seized by Iranian forces is a matter for the courts to decide on, the official news agency IRNA reported.
Iranian officials have reportedly told the visiting delegation that the matter is out of the government's hands, according to the local media.
The move comes amid an escalating financial dispute between the countries.
This case is “under review in the legal and judicial framework,” IRNA quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying in a meeting with South Korea's first vice foreign minister.
According to the agency Zarif told the South Korean agency that the Iranian government cannot intervene in the case.
The South Korean-flagged tanker seizure by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Jan. 5 in the crucial Strait of Hormuz.
Earlier, Iranian officials have been demanding South Korea to release some $7 billion in assets tied up in the country’s banks due to American sanctions.