Iran urges UN to act against US sanctions

Iran says new US sanctions are illegal, urges UN to hold Washington accountable.

Elad Benari ,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

Iran on Monday urged the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for reimposing sanctions on Tehran, AFP reported.

Iran’s UN Ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the new US sanctions are illegal and in violation of a Security Council resolution.

He wrote that the "irresponsible conduct of the United States necessitates a collective response to uphold the rule of law."

"The United Nations and its member-states, in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and the international law, should resist against these wrongful acts and hold the United States accountable for such acts," he added, according to AFP.

The letter came hours after the latest US sanctions against Iran came into effect, the second round of sanctions since President Donald Trump withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The second round of sanctions hit oil exports, shipping and banking. Eight temporary waivers to the ban on Iranian oil imports were issued to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

The nuclear deal was unanimously endorsed by a Security Council resolution, which means it is legally binding. Diplomats, however, said there were no plans to raise the US sanctions at the council for the time being.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the sanctions which went into effect on Monday are “the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"They're aimed at a single purpose -- denying the world's largest state sponsor of terror the capacity to do things like the things they've done in the past few weeks," he added.

National security adviser John Bolton made clear that the Trump administration is planning to impose even more sanctions on Iran.

"We’re gonna have sanctions that even go beyond this. We’re not simply going to be content with the level of sanctions that existed under Obama in 2015,” Bolton said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

"More are coming," he pledged, adding, "We are actually going to have very strict, very tight enforcement of the sanctions that exist."

The Iranian UN ambassador argued in his letter that the United States "not only blatantly defies the Security Council resolution 2231" that endorsed the nuclear deal, "but also audaciously coerces other states to violate the resolution."

"Those sanctions are illegal and run counter to the well-established principles" of non-interference in internal affairs and freedom of international trade, he stated.