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Iran UN envoy blames cruel US sanctions for UN voting right suspension

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 Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi

Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations says the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States are to blame for the suspension of the Islamic Republic’s right to vote at the United Nations General Assembly.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi on Friday said that the US sanctions had resulted in Iran’s failure to pay membership dues to the world body, but expressed hope that Tehran’s efforts to end the suspension would bear fruit soon.    

His remarks come as Iran has been denied the right to cast its vote on various matters at the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council for a second consecutive year.

The US reimposed the sanctions after leaving the 2015 agreement with Iran and world powers that had partially suspended the coercive economic measures.

“As an active member of the UN, Iran has always been committed to paying up its membership dues on time, and we have proven this in practice, but unfortunately, due to the cruel and unilateral sanctions [by the US], we faced the problem of paying up our membership fee for the second consecutive year,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

He also stressed that the restrictions are not only impeding Iran’s access to humanitarian items, including medicine and medical equipment, but the bans are also impeding the UN’s work.

The Iranian envoy further noted that the Islamic Republic is working to secure a safe financial channel to pay its UN membership fee and reclaim its voting right.

Takht-Ravanchi also said that Iran is already discussing the issue with UN officials and hopes that it will be solved in the shortest time possible.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said 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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