Tehran has lost its voting right at the UN for a second consecutive year as it faces obstacles to making payments due to US sanctions.
Tehran, Iran – Iran is once again trying to find channels to pay its membership fees to the United Nations despite sanctions by the United States to regain its lost voting rights.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been committed to paying for its membership on time and we have shown this in action before,” Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said late Friday, adding that the country is looking for a “secure channel” to make its payment to the organization.
“Unfortunately, for a second year we are facing obstacles to making our payments and that is due to the brutal US sanctions … the funds are there in our accounts abroad but cannot be obtained.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced earlier this week that Iran and seven other countries’ voting rights had been suspended due to late fees.
Under the UN Charter, if a member state’s arrears are equal to or greater than the amount of fees it has had to pay over the previous two years, its voting rights are suspended until payment is made. The minimum amount Iran now has to pay to restore its rights is said to be at least $ 18 million.
Iran also lost its voting right last year when US sanctions blocked access to its billions of dollars’ worth of money frozen abroad.
After months of negotiations, the US Treasury finally granted access to a small portion of Iran’s estimated $ 7 billion blocked in South Korea to pay the minimum fees. This allowed Iran to regain its vote in time for the June election of new members of the Security Council.
The US sanctions have been unilaterally imposed since 2018 when President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The landmark agreement led to the lifting of sanctions instead of curbside on Iran’s nuclear program.
The West and its regional allies, especially Israel, have accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons – an accusation that Tehran has repeatedly denied. It insists that its core program is completely peaceful.
Negotiations in Vienna are currently underway to restore the agreement, which Tehran hopes will help remove sanctions. US President Joe Biden has vowed to restore the agreement, but talks so far have been slow amid a tussle between the two opponents.