Iran regains voting rights at UN: ambassador

January 24, 2022 - 19:59

TEHRAN – Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations has announced that the country has regained its right to vote at the UN after paying delinquent dues. 

Majid Takht-Ravanchi said on Saturday that Iran's arrears have been paid to the United Nations and the country's voting right should naturally restore at the beginning of the week as soon as the dues are cleared in New York, according to Press TV. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as an active member of the United Nations, has always been committed to paying its membership dues on time and we have proven this in action,” the ambassador said.

“Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, we faced the problem of paying our membership fee due to the imposition of brutal and unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran,” he added.

South Korea confirmed that it paid on Iran’s arrears. South Korea “on Friday completed the payment of Iran’s UN dues of about $18 million through the Iranian frozen funds in South Korea, in active cooperation with related agencies such as US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the United Nations Secretariat,” South Korean Ministry of Finance said in a statement. 

“Iran’s right to vote at the General Assembly is expected to be restored immediately with the payment,” the ministry added.

The Iranian envoy stressed that the U.S. sanctions have not only affected the supply of medicine, medical equipment, and humanitarian items but have also disrupted the work of the UN.

Earlier in the month, Takht-Ravanchi blamed the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States for Iran’s failure to make the payment on its arrears to the world body, but expressed hope that the suspension of the country’s voting right would end soon.

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 right to vote on various matters at the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

South Korea owes Iran more than $8 billion for gas condensate imports from the country but has so far refused to pay it. South Korea sees unilateral sanctions and the so-called U.S. maximum pressure as an impediment to paying off its debt. The issue has been criticized multiple times by Iranian officials, Press TV said. 

Earlier in mid-January, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh addressed the suspension of Iran’s right to vote at the United Nations.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a founding and active member of the United Nations is committed to full and timely payment of its membership fees in the United Nations and other international organizations and agencies,” Khatibzadeh said.
“Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, and due to cruel and illegal sanctions of the United States, the payments by our country have hit a roadblock,” he added. 

According to the spokesman, despite numerous difficulties, the government of Iran has prepared the required resources for the payment of its membership fee in the United Nations and is engaged in necessary consultations to resolve the matter. 

At the same time, creation of a safe channel for faster payment of the membership fee is under consideration.

“It would be fitting that the secretary general of the United Nations and the secretariat also consider the special situation of countries that face illegal sanctions and do not spare their assistance to these countries for the payment of their share,” the spokesman asserted. 

The illegal economic and financial sanctions on Iran, which started during the Trump presidency, has created numerous problems for Iran. The most important problem was blocking Iran from international banking system which prevented Iran from buying essential medicines and medical equipment. 

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