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South Korea’s Iranian crude imports have four-folded

This May 1, 2016 photo by SHANA shows Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh (L) shaking hands with South Korea's Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kang Ho-in in Tehran.

Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh says the country has more than quadrupled its oil exports to South Korea following the removal of sanctions five months ago.

Zangeneh said Sunday that oil exports to South Korea have increased to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from less than 100,000 bpd prior to the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in January.

He added, however, that Iran is still facing banking troubles for the transfer of its cash from the Southeast Asian country, noting that Tehran and Seoul are working to resolve the problems.

The Iranian oil minister made the comments after a meeting with the visiting South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Kang Ho-in in Tehran.

According to data from Energy Aspects, global imports of Iran's crude rose in March to 1.90 million bpd, from 1.51 million bpd in February.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is due to arrive in Tehran later on Sunday.

Park will be accompanied by Seoul’s biggest-ever traveling business delegation of over 230 executives during the three-day visit. Local reports suggested the two countries are expected to seal deals worth $10 billion.

Energy-hungry South Korea, the world's fifth largest crude oil importer, is one of the largest buyers of Iranian oil.

Its import of Iranian crude soared 81 percent in March year-on-year, after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, the permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, started to implement a nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on January 16.

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