US Maximum Pressure on Iran Still in Place: UN Envoy

US Maximum Pressure on Iran Still in Place: UN Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations decried the administration of US President Joe Biden for maintaining the policy of maximum pressure on Iran, saying Washington’s claim that its policy towards the JCPOA has changed is “only in words”.

Addressing the UN General Assembly session on Friday about the UNSC annual report, Majid Takht Ravanchi said the unlawful and inhumane US policies and sanctions have prevented Iran from using its financial resources in foreign banks or importing even much-needed medicine amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

What follows is the full text of his speech, released by the Iranian government’s official website:

Mr. President,

I sincerely thank Niger for timely preparation of the Security Council’s report and appreciate the Estonian presidency of the Council for presenting it.

The report while provides valuable factual information on the Council’s work, it lacks substantive and analytical information including about megatrends in international peace and security.

It therefore does not match the requirements of a report as envisaged in the Charter, because it cannot enable the Assembly to substantively and comprehensively appraise the Council’s performance and assess the situation of international peace and security.

As examples, I would like to refer to certain developments in the Middle East. On the third of January 2020, the military forces of the United States, in a terrorist act at the direct order of the U.S. President, violated Iraq’s sovereignty and horrifically martyred two regional anti-terror heroes, including Major General Qassem Soleimani.

While such military adventurism of a permanent member of the Council placed our volatile region on the verge of an all-out war, and the United Nations was expected to act “promptly” and “effectively”, as stated in Charter’s Article 24(1), the Council was dead silent.

Later, on the fourth and fifth of January 2020, the US President threatened to hit “very hard” and “in a disproportionate manner” “52 Iranian sites”, including some very important to “the Iranian culture”. While such unbridled threats were in flagrant violations of the peremptory norms of international law and the Charter’s Article 2(4), again the Council was utterly silent.

Nevertheless, when on 14th of August 2020, the US presented a draft resolution to the Council to impose arms embargo against Iran, it was rejected by 13 members of the Council. While this is reflected in report’s paragraph 160, it did not mention that such a strong objection was due to the fact that the US proposal was in violation of Resolution 2231.

Later, on the 20th of August 2020, the US attempted to purportedly initiate a process to re-impose the Council sanctions on Iran. Again, the reactions of the Council members were decisive. As clearly stated in report’s paragraph 162, “13 members of the Council explicitly stated in their communication that, by withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States had lost any rights to make use of the instruments provided for in resolution 2231 (2015), including those outlined in paragraph 11, and that attempts by the United States to claim otherwise were not legitimate and therefore could not have any legal, political or practical implications.”

While the current US administration has claimed that its policy towards the JCPOA has changed, I must stress however that this change is only in words but, in practice, the maximum pressure policy is still continuing. Due to such unlawful and inhumane policies and sanctions, Iran is not able, inter alia, to use its financial resources in foreign banks to import even much-needed medicine amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Indeed, the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna is the first instance to test the sincerity and genuine political will of the United States towards the JCPOA, and the main and real test will be when it is verifiably proven that the US has changed course, put aside its failed maximum pressure policy, and stopped its economic terrorism against Iran.

While the unlawful occupation of Palestine and 15 years old inhumane blockade of Gaza by the Israeli regime have continued in 2020, again the Security Council has miserably failed to compel that regime to put an end to its systematic violation of international law.

All of us have recently seen the result of such inaction by the Council. Emboldened by the silence of the Security Council, only in its 11-day brutal and all-out war on Gaza in May 2021, Israeli forces killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, and wounded 1948 others.

This includes 13 members of an extended family who were killed and buried in the rubble of their own home -- many of whom children, one as young as six months old. Moreover, countless health facilities, schools, mosques and houses were destroyed.

Furthermore, occupation of parts of Syria by the US and its other unlawful activities in Syria such as looting its oil continued in 2020 without any preventive action by the Council.

Last year, once again the Council has failed to stand with the people of Yemen and to bring an end to six years of aggression against that country.

Finally, we call for the submission of more analytical reports by the Council and its in-depth consideration by the Assembly.

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