Iran frees South Korean ship it held amid dispute over funds

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A South Korean oil tanker held for months by Iran amid a dispute over billions of dollars held in Seoul has been freed. It happened early Friday ahead of further talks between Tehran and world powers over its tattered nuclear deal. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Iran released the MT Hankuk Chemi and its captain after seizing the vessel in January. Iran did not immediately acknowledge the ship had been freed. It had accused the vessel of pollution but the seizure was widely seen as an attempt to pressure Seoul to release billions of dollars in Iranian assets tied up in South Korean banks amid heavy American sanctions on Iran.