Zarif defends Iran’s right to vote in UNGA
TEHRAN – After the threat from the UN Secretary General that Iran will lose its right to vote in the UN General Assembly due to arrears in paying its dues, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informing him that US sanctions have blocked payment of Iran’s dues.
“I am writing to express our deep dismay at the announcement that the Islamic Republic of Iran will lose its right to vote in the United Nations General Assembly due to arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the United Nations.” Zarif said in the statement. letter. “This decision is fundamentally flawed, utterly unacceptable and utterly unjustified, as Iran’s inability to meet its financial obligations to the United Nations is directly caused by unlawful unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States to punish those who comply. to a Security Council resolution. “
Zarif added: “As you, and the whole world, know, the Iranian people have been subjected to the most unprecedented economic war – and even economic terrorism – following the US withdrawal of the Trump administration from the JCPOA. (continued unabashedly to this day by his successor as a so-called “bargaining lever”) in substantial violation of the pre-emptive norms of international law, the United Nations Charter and UNSCR 2231. “
He noted: “It is surprisingly absurd that the Iranian people, who have been forcibly prevented from transferring their own money and resources to purchase food and medicine – let alone pay the backlog of UN contributions – by a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is now sanctioned for not having been authorized to pay budgetary arrears by the secretariat of the same organization, which has unjustifiably chosen over the past 3 years to remain indifferent to a attempted mass starvation – a crime against humanity – by the United States. The illegal acts, war and economic terrorism of the United States have hampered Iran’s ability to transfer our financial contribution to the United Nations and certain other international organizations as a direct result of both extreme restrictions on banking relationships. of Iran with the outside world and the freezing of the nation’s multibillion dollar cash deposits – not assets or reserves – in South Korea, Japan, Iraq and other banks .
Zarif noted: “It is deplorable that a founding member of the United Nations is deprived of its right to vote due to conditions totally beyond its control, perpetrated by unlawful unilateral acts of another state. This only emboldens the intimidating mentality that has gone out of its way over the past 4 years to torpedo multilateralism and replace it with extremely selfish and impulsive unilateralism. The United Nations and its members must remain faithful to the purposes and principles of the Charter and refrain from any decision which would betray the spirit of sovereign equality of member states and weaken multilateralism.
Earlier this year, Zarif said Iran has allocated funds for paying its UN dues, but the US has blocked Iran from paying the money.
Commenting on Iran’s suspension of voting rights at the UN due to unpaid dues, Zarif told IRNA that dues were the only reason for the suspension of Iran’s voting rights.
“We should have paid $ 16 million to settle our debts to the UN and guarantee our right to vote. The government allocated the fund and demanded that the country’s frozen assets in South Korea be used [to pay the debts], but the United States has blocked the payment to the UN account, ”the Iranian foreign minister said.
Iran had offered to pay its dues with its $ 7 billion frozen in two South Korean banks due to US sanctions.
“Iran’s latest proposal in this regard was to pay off this debt by asking the UN to use assets seized by Iran from South Korea with permission from the central bank, which is ongoing. discussion with the UN secretariat and the necessary arrangements are made, ”said Saeed Khatibzadeh. , said the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Khatibzadeh also called on the UN to guarantee the transfer of unpaid charges from Iran through non-US banks.
“Since the United States has already encroached on Iran’s international assets, the Islamic Republic of Iran insists that the UN does not use an American intermediary bank to receive our country’s membership fees , or that this organization guarantees the financial transfer channel, ”he noted.