U.S. sanctions jeopardizing global trade system: envoy

October 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Es’haq Al-e Habib, says Washington’s illegal sanctions have endangered the international trade system, calling on the international community to break its silence over what he called an “unprecedented threat”.

Addressing a meeting of the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly held in New York on Monday, Al-e Habib said it is undeniable that commitment to multilateral cooperation as a basis for global treaties and agreements is currently under unprecedented and growing pressure.

“Sanction-based policies have made multilateral financial and trade system very inefficient, and now it is upon the international community to guarantee that the financing of development is not taken hostage by certain countries through unilateral coercive measures,” he added, Press TV reported.

“The illegal and illegitimate coercive and unilateral measures of the U.S., including its unprecedented and unjustifiable sanctions against certain developing countries, Iran in particular, amid the international community’s silence have increased in an unprecedented way and threaten the foundations of multilateralism,” Al-e Habib said.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since last year when President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal and attempted to put “maximum pressure” on the Islamic Republic.

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, Tehran began to partially reduce its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

In the first stage, Iran announced that it will not limit its stockpile of the nuclear fuel to 300 kilograms allowed under the deal. However, on that date (May 8) Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said if the remaining parties to the JCPOA, especially Europeans, devise a mechanism to protect it from the sanctions effect in the two-month deadline it will reverse its decision. 

But since European parties missed the deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67%, thereby starting the second step.

As Europe missed the second 60-day deadline, Iran moved to take the third step, removing ban on nuclear research and development (R&D).

In a letter on September 5, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif notified European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini about Iran’s third step.

In his Monday speech, Al-e Habib also criticized the World Trade Organization (WTO) for blocking Iran’s membership for two decades because of the political pressures of certain member states, saying that unilateral behaviors are currently targeting the WTO, jeopardizing the entire trade system of the world.

Iran, the largest economy not yet member of the WTO, has been requesting to join the organization since 1995, and was admitted to it as an observer in 2005, but sanctions began to hit Tehran afterwards and certain countries – especially the U.S. – opposed its membership.

MH/PA

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