Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remarks while responding to a question on the payment of Iran’s UN membership dues, saying, “During recent years, despite restrictions caused by unilateral US sanctions, Islamic Republic of Iran has always used few remaining financial channels to pay its UN membership dues,” Press TV reported.
During the current year, he added, Iran has been in talks with the United Nations treasury, urging the world body to introduce a safe transaction channel after the US blocked the previous channels used by the Islamic Republic to transfer money.
“Our country's latest proposal [to the UN] in this regard was to settle [Tehran's] arrears using the country's frozen assets in South Korea," Khatibzadeh said, noting that Iran's Central Bank has authorized this option and negotiations on using it are underway with the UN secretariat.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized that Iran insists on the UN not to use an American bank as the “intermediary” for transfer of Iran’s contribution because of the bleak history of the US in encroaching on Iran’s international assets, or the world body should guarantee security of the transaction channel.
Under Article 19 of the Charter of the United Nations, a member state in arrears in the payment of its dues in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly.
According to a statement by the UN General Assembly, as of 13 January 2021, ten member states are subject to the provisions of Article 19 of the Charter, which include Iran, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Libya, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Following the General Assembly’s announcement, UN Secretary General António Guterres wrote a letter to the rotational head of the Assembly, noting that the aforementioned 10 countries have lost their right to vote at the General Assembly meetings on a temporary basis. He said Iran owes over $16 million in UN arrears.