Amir Saeed Iravani made the remark while addressing a UN Security Council (UNSC) open debate on the body’s working methods in New York City on Tuesday, emphasizing that unilateral coercive measures have no legal basis, and blatantly violate international law as well as the UN Charter.
He noted that sanctions are harmful to civilian populations and the well-being of independent sovereign states. Sanctions should “undergo rigorous and ongoing assessment for their profound humanitarian consequences, with a commitment to suspend or terminate them when deemed essential,” he said.
“The penholders must refrain from using sanctions as a cover for illegal unilateral actions or as a weapon against the countries under the agenda to advance their narrow political purposes, all of which would be harmful to civilian populations and the well-being of independent sovereign states,” he stressed.
The Security Council should “exercise its Chapter VII powers with deliberate care, wisdom, and profound consideration of the significant humanitarian and human rights repercussions on civilian populations” when deliberating the imposition of sanctions, he said.
The remarks come as Iran has been a target of severe unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States since its former president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and implemented what he described as a “maximum pressure policy” against Tehran amid the failure of international organization, including the Security Council, to protect Iran’s rights under the deal.
Meanwhile, the diplomat slammed certain Western states’ efforts to use the UNSC to pursue their own political agenda.
“Currently, the three Permanent members, with a colonial mentality, maintain control over most country-specific matters under the Council agenda, often disregarding the views and legitimate concerns of countries under the agenda and even subjecting them to undue pressure,” Iravani said, noting that the penholder system at the UNSC was an “ongoing concern, as it has been exploited to promote the interests of specific members.”
Any attempt to abuse the Security Council’s rules of procedure, established practices, or working methods for political purposes undermines the Security Council’s credibility and legitimacy, he said.