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Iran denounces UN voting right suspension, slams US sanctions for failure to pay membership dues

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh

The Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly denounces suspension of its right to vote at the United Nations, stressing that the United States' cruel sanctions have brought about the situation.

Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks on Wednesday after the Islamic Republic was denied the right to cast its vote on various matters at the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, due to the sanctions that prevent the country from paying up its membership dues for a second consecutive year.

"As a founding and active member of the world body, Iran considers itself duty-bound to fully and timely pay its membership fee at the UN and other international agencies and organizations," he noted.

However, the country has come across some difficulties concerning payment matters as a result of "the US's oppressive and illegal sanctions," the official added.

The US returned the sanctions around four years ago after leaving the 2015 agreement with Iran and world powers that had partially suspended the coercive economic measures.

Tehran has prepared the fees and is conducting necessary consultations with others to resolve the issue through a "safe payment channel," said the spokesman.

He, meanwhile, urged the UN secretary general and the world body's Secretariat to take the situation of sanction-stricken countries into account and do not deny these countries their good offices that could enable them to pay up their membership dues.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that a total of 11 countries, including Iran, are behind in their payments. 

Under the UN charter, a member country's right to vote is suspended when its arrears equal or exceed the amount of dues it should have paid over the preceding two years, but if the outstanding debt is deemed to be "due to conditions beyond the control of the member," the assembly may let that country continue to vote.


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