US Sanctions Impeding Iran’s Payment of Contribution to UN: Zarif

US Sanctions Impeding Iran’s Payment of Contribution to UN: Zarif

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the UN’s flawed and unjustified decision to deprive Iran of its voting privileges in the UN General Assembly, saying the inability to fulfill the financial obligations is caused by the US’ unlawful and unilateral sanctions.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, sent on June 3, Foreign Minister Zarif blamed the US sanctions for Iran’s inability to fulfill its financial obligations toward the United Nations.

What follows is the full text of the letter:

“In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


I am writing to convey our strong dismay over the announcement that the Islamic Republic of Iran will lose its voting privileges in the United nations General Assembly due to the arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the United Nations. This decision is fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified, as Iran’s inability to fulfill its financial obligations toward the United Nations is directly caused by ‘unlawful unilateral sanctions’ imposed by the United States to punish those who comply with a Security Council resolution.

As you, and indeed the whole world, are well aware, the people of Iran have been under the most unprecedented economic warfare –and indeed economic terrorism- following the Trump administration’s US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA (shamelessly continued to this day by its successor as so-called “bargaining leverage”) in material breach of peremptory norms of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and UNSC resolution 2231.

It is astonishing absurd that Iranian people, who have been forcibly blocked from transferring their own money and resources to buy food and medicine –let alone pay UN contribution arrears- by a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council, are now being punished for not being allowed to pay budget arrears by the secretariat of the same Organization, which has unjustifiably chosen for the past 3 years to remain indifferent in the face of attempted mass starvation –a crime against humanity- by the United States.

The US’ unlawful acts of war and economic terrorism have impaired Iran’s capacity to transfer our financial contribution to the United Nations and some other international organizations as a direct consequence both of extreme restrictions on Iran’s banking relations with outside world, and of freezing of the Iranian nation’s multi-billion dollars of cash deposits –and not assets or reserves- in South Korean, Japanese, Iraqi and other banks.

It is deplorable that a United Nations’ founding member is deprived of its voting right due to conditions totally beyond its control, perpetrated by unlawful unilateral acts of another State. It only emboldens the bullying mentality that did the utmost over the past 4 years to torpedo multilateralism and replace it with extremely selfish and impulsive unilateralism. The United Nations and its general membership must remain true to the purposes and principles of the Charter and refrain from any decision that betrays the spirit of sovereign equality and member States, and weakens multilateralism.


The UN Charter gives the General Assembly the authority to decide “that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member”, and in that case a country can continue to vote. By what definition are Iran’s arears not “due to conditions beyond (its) control”?

The Islamic Republic of Iran therefore rejects the notification on suspension of its voting privileges. Iran’s incapacity to transfer its financial contribution has been entirely beyond its control, and is directly and intentionally caused by multiple US unlawful acts –violation of Pacta Sunt Servanda, unilateral coercive measures in violation of UNSCR 2231, seizure judgments in violation of sovereign immunity, restriction on any and all financial transactions in violation of international humanitarian law, and ICJ provisional measures of 3 October 2018, and etcetera.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to fulfill its financial obligations to the United Nations and will continue to make every effort to settle the arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the UN and other international organizations soon as the underlying imposed conditions, i.e. the US unlawful unilateral coercive measures, is removed.

I will be grateful if this letter is circulated as a document of the General Assembly, and of the Security Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

M. Javad Zarif”