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Iran says sanctions barred payment of UN membership fee

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Iran’s foreign ministry says the US sanctions are to blame for Tehran’s failure to pay its membership fee in the United Nations after the world body suspended Iranian right to vote over its arrears.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a founding and active member of the United Nations considers full and timely payment of its membership fee in the UN and other international organizations and agencies an obligation,” the ministry’s spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

“Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, and due to cruel and illegal sanctions of the United States, the payments by our country have hit a roadblock.”

Khatibzadeh stressed, adding that Iran has is now engaged in the necessary consultations to resolve the matter.

He said Tehran is also considering a new safe channel to ensure its UN membership fee is paid faster.

The spokesman also called on the UN secretary general to take into account “the special situation of countries that face illegal sanctions” on the issue of membership fee payments, and to help them in the process.

The unilateral sanctions the US slapped on Iran after withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in 2018, impose severe punishments on any bank or financial institution that offers Tehran access to the dollar-based global payment system. The restrictions mean Iran cannot transfer money through conventional international channels even for food and medicine, still less its UN membership fee.

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