U.S. blocking Iran’s payment of overdue UN membership fees, Zarif says

January 22, 2021 - 22:0

TEHRAN – Iran has allocated funds for the payment of its dues to the UN but the United States prevented Iran from paying the money, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday.

Commenting on the suspension of Iran’s voting rights at the UN over unpaid membership fees, Zarif told states news IRNA that the dues were the only reason behind the suspension of Iran’s voting rights.

“We should have paid $16 million to settle our debts to the UN and secure our right to vote. The government allocated the fund and urged that the country’s frozen assets in South Korea be used [to pay the debts], but the U.S. blocked the payment to the UN account,” the chief Iranian diplomat said.

Iran has proposed paying its membership fees with its seven billion dollars frozen at two South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.

“Iran’s latest proposal in this regard was to pay this debt by having the UN use Iran’s seized assets in South Korea with the permission of the Central Bank, which is being discussed with the UN Secretariat and the necessary arrangements are being made,” Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, has recently said.

Khatibzadeh also called on the UN to guarantee the transfer of Iran’s unpaid fees through non-American banks.

“Given that the United States has encroached upon Iran’s international assets before, the Islamic Republic of Iran insists that the UN not use an American intermediary bank to receive our country’s membership fee, or that this organization guarantees the financial transfer channel,” he noted.

“Despite restrictions caused by the United States’ unilateral sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has, in recent years, always paid its UN membership fee using the few financial transfer channels available to it. This year, too, as the U.S. blocked channels available to transfer financial resources, Iran has been in talks with the UN Treasury since long ago in order for the world body to introduce a safe channel [for money transfer],” he continued.


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