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News > Iran

Iran Regains UN Voting Rights After Paying Dues

  • Iran regained its voting rights in the UN General Assembly on Friday after paying off some $16.2m in arrears, and lashed out at the US for maintaining sanctions that have prevented it from accessing billions of dollars in foreign banks.

    Iran regained its voting rights in the UN General Assembly on Friday after paying off some $16.2m in arrears, and lashed out at the US for maintaining sanctions that have prevented it from accessing billions of dollars in foreign banks. | Photo: Twitter @MiddleEastEye

Published 11 June 2021
Opinion

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized the United Nations’ decision to deprive Tehran of its voting rights in the Assembly due to arrears, saying the UN ignores the fact that U.S. sanctions had prevented Iran from paying even for food.
 

Iran has regained its voting rights in the 193-member United Nations General Assembly after paying off some $16.2 million in arrears it owed to the UN operating body.

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“After more than 6 months of working on it, the UN today announced it had received the funds,” Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.

He emphasized that "illegal US sanctions" have led to the delay in settling the debts, saying they had "not just deprived our people of medicine; they have also prevented Iran from paying our dues in arrears to the UN." "ALL inhumane sanctions must be lifted NOW," the Iranian diplomat added.

Takht Ravanchi’s tweet came after President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir said in a meeting on Friday that Iran has made a partial payment toward the United Nations budget that allowed the country to restore its voting rights. "The Islamic Republic of Iran has made the necessary payment to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter," Bozkir said.

Iran can now vote in the General Assembly on Friday to elect five new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2022-2023.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized the United Nations’ decision to deprive Tehran of its voting rights in the Assembly due to arrears, saying the UN ignores the fact that US sanctions prevent Iran from paying even for food.

According to a statement by the General Assembly, as of January 13, 2021, ten member states were subject to the provisions of Article 19 of the UN Charter, namely Iran, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Libya, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

Under Article 19 of the Charter, members whose arrears equal or exceed the number of their contributions due for two preceding full years lose their voting rights.

The Charter also gives the General Assembly the authority to decide “that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the member's control,” and in that case, a country can continue to vote.

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