The United Nations stated Thursday that it had suspended the voting rights of Iran and 4 smaller international locations for delinquent dues. The transfer provoked a livid response from Iran, which referred to as it “astonishingly absurd” and blamed the nation’s arrears on U.S. sanctions that had frozen Iranian funds in banks worldwide.
The episode threatened to inject one other irritant into the estranged U.S.-Iranian relationship, entangling the United Nations simply as diplomats are searching for to advance negotiations geared toward restoring American and Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear settlement between Iran and the most important powers.
President Trump repudiated that accord three years in the past, restoring financial sanctions that the settlement had lifted. Iran responded by re-engaging in uranium enrichment and different actions that had been curtailed below the accord’s provisions. President Biden has stated he desires to rejoin the nuclear settlement, however Iran has stated the USA should drop its sanctions in verifiable methods earlier than Iran will return to compliance.
Secretary Normal António Guterres stated in a letter to the president of the Normal Meeting that Iran and 4 African international locations — the Central African Republic, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia — had all breached the delinquency threshold below Article 19 of the U.N. Constitution. The article states that any member owing the earlier two years of assessments might not vote within the Normal Meeting.
Mr. Guterres’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, stated such letters are routinely transmitted when any member reaches the two-year threshold. The assessments are calculated below a fancy components primarily based partly on a rustic’s financial dimension.
In early 2020, for instance, Venezuela, Yemen and Lebanon have been among the many international locations that quickly misplaced voting rights.
The Normal Meeting could make exceptions to the rule, figuring out that some international locations face such extenuating circumstances they can not pay and shouldn’t be penalized.
However that has not occurred — at the very least not but — within the case of Iran, which owes greater than $16.2 million, by far the many of the 5 delinquent international locations recognized in Mr. Guterres’s newest letter, dated Could 28.
International Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, a former U.N. ambassador who is aware of his method across the group, expressed outrage in a Twitter posting on the lack of voting rights, and connected a replica of his response to Mr. Guterres.
“This determination is basically flawed, fully unacceptable and utterly unjustified,” Mr. Zarif’s letter acknowledged.
“It’s astonishingly absurd that Iranian folks, who’ve been forcibly blocked from transferring their very own cash and sources to purchase meals and medication — not to mention pay U.N. contributions arrears — by a everlasting member of the United Nations Safety Council, at the moment are being punished for not being allowed to pay finances arrears by the secretariat of the identical Group,” it acknowledged.
Mr. Dujarric defended the issuance of the letter, describing it as a “mechanical process” dictated by the U.N. constitution’s guidelines.
“We’ve got been in very intense discussions with the Islamic Republic of Iran on discovering a method for them to pay their dues,” Mr. Dujarric instructed reporters at a day by day briefing. “It isn’t from lack of attempting from both our aspect or from their aspect, however as , the nation falls below various bilateral sanctions, which makes it a bit difficult. So these discussions are persevering with in good religion on all sides.”
In Tehran on Thursday, a spokesman for Iran’s International Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, stated the Workplace of International Property Management, a part of the U.S. Treasury Division, had granted a license for Iran to switch the owed cash to the United Nations from a financial institution in South Korea, certainly one of a number of around the globe the place Iranian funds are impounded.
“This fee can be made quickly,” Mr. Khatibzadeh stated.
The Workplace of International Property Management, which manages the sanctions imposed on Iran, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.