Zarif criticizes suspending Iran's UN voting privileges
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif condemns the United Nations' announcement to suspend Iran's voting privileges in the intergovernmental organization in a message to Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the United Nations announcing the suspension of Iran's voting privileges within the organization, saying that the UN Charter gives the General Assembly the authority to decide that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member, and in that case, a country can continue to vote.
In a message to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Zarif clarified that "Iran's inability to fulfill its financial obligation toward the United Nations is directly caused by ‘unlawful unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States to punish those who comply with a Security Council resolution."
In his message to Guterres, Zarif said, "Like you, and indeed the whole world, are well aware, the people of Iran have been under the most unprecedented economic warfare -and indeed economic terrorism- following the Trump administration's US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (shamelessly continued to this day by its successor as so-called "bargaining leverage'") in material breach of peremptory norms of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and UNSC resolution 2231."
He said that the United Nation's action, "It is astonishingly absurd that Iranian people, who have been forcibly blocked from transferring their own money and resources to buy food and medicine-let alone pay UN contributions arrears-by a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, are now being punished for not being allowed to pay budget arrears by the secretariat of the same Organization, which has unjustifiably chosen for the past 3 years to remain indifferent in the face of attempted mass starvation-a crime against humanity by the United States."
He stressed that the US' unlawful acts of war and economic terrorism had "impaired Iran's capacity to transfer our financial contribution to the United Nations and some other international organizations as a direct consequence both of extreme restrictions on Iran's banking relations with the outside world and of freezing of the Iranian nation’s multi-billion dollars of cash deposits-and not assets or reserves- in South Korean, Japanese, Iraqi and other banks."
The Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized in his message to the Secretary-General that the Islamic Republic of Iran "is fully committed to fulfilling its financial obligations to the United Nations and will continue to make every effort to settle the arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the UN and other international organizations as soon as the underlying imposed condition, i.e. the US unlawful unilateral coercive measures, is removed."
Zarif had said in January that the United States is blocking the allocation of Iranian funds that are frozen in South Korea to pay the price of voting in the United Nations.
He explained that "we had to pay $16 million to the United Nations in exchange for the right to vote and to pay part of the arrears, and the government allocated the money and determined its source from the frozen Iranian assets in South Korea," noting that the United States prevented the funds from being deposited in the United Nations account.
The United Nations General Secretariat placed Iran on the list of countries that were late in paying their obligations to the organization's budget, along with a number of other countries.
If this procedure continues for two years, it would result in the member state losing its right to vote on the General Assembly's resolutions.