Iran: UNSC Should Not Sanction World States Over Fabricated Threats

IRNA, February 12, 2016

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo has said that UN Security Council’s sanctions should only be imposed on perimeter of UN Charter and not for fabricated threats.

Khoshroo made the remarks in a statement addressed on Thursday to the Security Council on Working methods of the Subsidiary Organs of the Security Council General Issues Relating to Sanctions.

The full text of his statement reads:

Mr. President;

First and foremost, I would like to thank Venezuela for this initiative on organizing this debate and presenting the concept paper that we found extremely useful. I thank Ambassadors of Sweden and Chile, for sharing their insightful inputs with this debate. My delegation is grateful for the opportunity to be able to participate in this debate.

As a general comment, we believe any Security Council-imposed sanction should fall within the perimeter of the UN Charter at all times. This means:

1- Sanctions should not be imposed unless there exists genuine threat, not perceived or fabricated, to international peace and security or in case an act of aggression;

2- Sanctions are not meant to punish the general population or aimed to achieving political objectives;

3- Sanctions should be considered as the last, and not first, resort and imposed only after all means of peaceful settlement of disputes under Chapter VI of the Charter have been exhausted;

4- Imposition of sanctions be decided only after a thorough consideration of the short-term and long-term effects on the rights recognized under international law. In this regard, the objectives of sanction regimes should be clearly defined, based on tenable legal grounds, and their imposition should be for a specified time frame. It should be lifted as soon as the objectives are achieved.

Transparency, strategic insight and the need to deal with humanitarian impacts of the sanctions are also important elements that the Council and its subsidiaries organs should have in mind when they consider sanctions.

First: it is important to enhance the transparency in the working methods of the Council and its subsidiaries, especially when they consider or deal with sanction. Transparency, openness and consistency are key elements that the Security Council should observe in all its activities, approaches and procedures, especially when it affects the lives of ordinary people through imposing sanctions. In this regard, the working methods of the sanction committees is one of the areas where the Council needs to improve transparency.

Second: the terms and conditions that the State or entity subject to sanctions should fulfill must be clearly defined and subject to periodic review. We agree that we should put emphasis on the need to support the chairs of the sanction committees in their efforts to assess and evaluate on a regular basis the role of sanctions and the dire need to put the Council-imposed sanctions in the framework of an overall political strategy.

Third: One of the most important and, at the same time, the most neglected aspect of a sanction regime is how to deal with its unintended impacts. I would like here to concentrate on this aspect through the following observations:

1. Sanctions always have a negative impact on the rights of nations recognized in the UN Charter as well as in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in particular the realization of the right to development. They often interfere with the functioning of basic health and education systems, and undermine the right to work, and, in general, they are serious obstacles to development of the targeted States.

2. Sanctions are a blunt instrument, the use of which raises fundamental ethical questions of whether sufferings inflicted on vulnerable groups in the target country are legitimate means of exerting pressure. Utmost care should be used by sanction committees to protect against the victimization of innocent civilians. Security Council sanction committees must be vigilant to the negative humanitarian impact on civilian population, economic effects on third parties and the criminalization of basic economic activities which may happen under sanction regimes.

3. It is equally important that the Sanction Committees of the Security Council monitor and scrutinize the imposition of unilateral coercion economic measures, as being in conflict with the principles of the UN Charter and the international law.

4- We fully agree with the concept paper recommendation to include, in the mandate of the expert groups of sanction committees, a review of the impact of selective or sectorial sanctions on affected countries, civilian populations and the activities of the humanitarian actors on the ground and requesting the Secretary General to establish a reporting line to this end.