Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) says the unilateral US sanctions against the country have prevented Tehran from paying its contributions to the world body on time.
Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Monday that the Islamic Republic had always paid its dues and contributions to the UN on time before US' illegal sanctions created problems and hampered Tehran’s efforts to clear its arrears.
"Iran as an active member of the United Nations is cognizant of the fact that it has responsibility, it has rights, and we are attentive to our rights and responsibility," Takht-Ravanchi told Press TV from New York.
"We have always paid our contributions to the UN on time; unfortunately, during the last two years, that has not been possible because, as I said, due to the US sanctions we could not do it on time. We have been capable of paying our contributions to the UN financially, but the sanctions prevented us from doing so," the Iranian envoy to the UN said.
🔴 LIVE: Iran’s Permanent Representative to UN speaks to Press TV on country’s voting rights at world body. https://t.co/3kvVgFhGXq— Press TV (@PressTV) January 24, 2022
Takht-Ravanchi also confirmed that Iran’s right to vote at the UN General Assembly has been restored after its membership dues were paid to the world body, saying, “Last year, it took some months to pay; this year it has taken a few weeks, but finally we were successful in arranging the necessary things and we made it."
Takht-Ravanchi announced on Saturday that Iran's arrears have been paid to the UN and the country's voting right will restore on Monday as soon as the dues are cleared in New York.
The Iranian envoy stressed that the US sanctions have not only affected the supply of medicine, medical equipment, and humanitarian items but have also disrupted the work of the UN.
The United States re-imposed its draconian sanctions against Iran after the administration of former President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 international nuclear agreement.
Earlier in the month, Takht-Ravanchi blamed the cruel and unilateral sanctions imposed by the US for Iran’s failure to make the payment on its arrears to the world body, but expressed hope that the suspension of the country’s voting right would end soon.
The Iranian envoy further noted that the Islamic Republic is working to secure a safe financial channel to pay its UN membership fee and reclaim its right to vote on various matters at the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.
South Korea said on Sunday it used US$18 million of frozen Iranian assets to pay Tehran’s dues to the UN, in a move to immediately restore the country’s voting power.
South Korea’s finance ministry said in a statement that the payment was made Friday in cooperation with the US and the UN after Iran made an “emergency request” to South Korea to pay the dues.
South Korea owes Iran more than $8 billion for gas condensate imports from the country but has so far refused to pay it. South Korea sees unilateral sanctions and the so-called US maximum pressure as an impediment to paying off its debt. The issue has been criticized multiple times by Iranian officials.
Iranian authorities have repeatedly said they expect South Korea to do more on the release of the assets blocked illegally at two South Korean banks under the pretext of the United States’ sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Tehran has been returning Seoul’s refusal to cooperate in repayment of the debts by exercising restrictions on imports from South Korea. Tehran has warned the case could negatively impact bilateral ties.