Iran’s UN Envoy Condemns Use of Sanctions as Blind Instruments

Condemning the use of sanctions as ‘blind instruments’ against nations, Takht-Ravanchi said that sanctions must be applied very rarely, in an actually smart and targeted manner, with limited scope and duration.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Iran’s permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi said, “The use of sanctions as blunt and blind instruments has raised fundamental ethical questions about whether sufferings inflicted on vulnerable groups is a legitimate means of exerting pressure on the targeted country.”

He added that certain Security Council sanctions had been used in the past only to collectively punish an entire nation, without any actual positive impact on the maintenance of international peace and security.

“Sanctions must be applied very rarely, in an actually smart and targeted manner, with limited scope and duration, and only when all ‘measures not involving the use of armed force’ are exhausted and have truly ‘proven to be inadequate’ to ‘maintain or restore international peace and security,” the Iran UN envoy noted.

He stressed the significance of considering the Council’s enlargement as only one out of many objectives in reforming the body, saying, “Improving the Council’s working methods and accountability and ensuring that all its decisions are taken in full accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations and international law are in no way less important than the Council’s enlargement.”

Takht-Ravanchi went on to say, “The Council’s reform must be considered as a comprehensive process, in which all five core issues under consideration must be treated equally, discussed thoroughly, and addressed in a package as they are interlinked and, as a whole, are greater than the sum of their parts. Therefore, any selective approach must be avoided.”

The Iranian ambassador added that Iran attached great importance to ensuring “equitable representation” in an expanded council and strongly believed this could not be realized only through safeguarding “geographical representation”.

Criticizing the West’s strong presence and influence in the Council, Takht-Ravanchi said that the three members of the body have veto power, “while the main regions are poorly represented in terms of both the number as well as privileges, including veto power”.

“This means inequality among the regions… The existing inequalities must therefore be addressed both ‘among’ and ‘within’ the regions as they are both necessary and complementary,” he continued.

Takht-Ravanchi also voiced Iran’s support for addressing historical injustice towards the developing world, particularly Africa, in ensuring equitable regional representation.

“We also fully support ensuring equal opportunities for each State within a given region, which, inter alia, can be done through limiting chances for those who have served more in the Council and, instead, provide more advantages to those who have never served in the Council or served lesser,” the diplomat said.

The Security Council’s increasing deficiencies had “resulted in its legitimacy and credibility crisis as well as its serious trust and confidence deficit, making its reform inevitable”, he noted.

“The ultimate goal of the Security Council’s reform must be to address all its current challenges and deficiencies and to evolve the Council into a truly representative, effective, transparent, accountable and above all, rules-based body,” the Iranian diplomat said.

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