Iran slams suspension of voting rights in UNGA

Tehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed “strong dismay” over the suspension of the country’s voting rights at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), saying the US sanctions were to be blamed for Tehran’s inability to pay dues.

 Iran and the Central African Republic will lose their voting rights at the UNGA since the countries are in arrears on paying their dues to the world body’s operating budget, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a letter to UNGA President Volkan Bozkir circulated on Wednesday.

“In ‘black is white’ world, UN deprived Iran of its voting rights in the UNGA as we’re in arrears,” Zarif said in a tweet on Thursday, adding that the decision is “fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified”.

Iran’s inability to fulfil its financial obligation towards the UN is “directly caused by unlawful unilateral sanctions imposed by the US”, the Foreign Minister added.

He noted that since former US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran, “the people of Iran have been under the most unprecedented economic warfare and indeed economic terrorism”.

Zarif added that the Iranians “have been forcibly blocked from transferring their own money and resources to buy food and medicine, let alone pay UN contributions arrears”.

The “extreme restrictions” on Iran’s international banking relations caused by Washington’s “acts of war and economic terrorism” have impaired the country’s capacity to transfer its financial contribution to the UN, he added.