The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations condemned using sanctions as blunt and blind instruments to put pressure on world states.

Iran PressIran News: "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," Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

According to IRNA, he said 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 a 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 Iranian ambassador said.

The Iranian diplomat underscored 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.”

“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,” Takht-Ravanchi added.

The official said 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.”

He went on to criticize the West’s strong presence and influence in the Council, saying 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,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

The Iranian diplomat 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,” he said.

The Iranian official 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.”

“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,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

He further said the ongoing attempts focused on the Council’s enlargement, equating it with its reform and efficiency, but this cannot continue at the expense of neglecting or underestimating other issues.

He added a combination of factors like population, economic power, and regional position could play a role in achieving such a goal.

Takht-Ravanchi rejected as unacceptable any reform that serves the interests of only certain regions or a few states, stressing the need to seriously avoid any proposal that would “literally deepen the current imbalances or reduce the equal chance for states to become a Council member or contradict such intrinsic principles as sovereign equality and equal rights of states, transparency, and accountability.”

Iran backs reforms to the Council’s working methods that would ensure that it acts “in full compliance with international law, particularly the UN Charter,” he said.

Takht-Ravanchi further pointed to the Council’s political and moral responsibility to act properly and responsibly and said its members must avoid taking decisions based on their national interests or that of the geopolitical or geographical groups they belong to “but based on the common interests of the entire membership of the Organization.”

“The Council must never be used as a tool to pursue national political interests and agendas. The Council is responsible before the Member States on behalf of whom it acts and must therefore remain accountable to them,” the Iranian diplomat stated. “The Council shall also not consider issues which do not fall within its purview or are conferred by the Charter to other UN organs, and in particular it must stop encroaching upon the functions and powers of the General Assembly.”

Takht-Ravanchi warned that making hasty decisions or setting artificial deadlines for its work will be counter-productive, saying any possible decision, procedural or substantive, at any stage must be adopted only by consensus.

“We also do not support text-based negotiations at this stage. Moreover, changing the rules or format of the process or its informal nature seems to be unconstructive and must therefore be avoided,” he concluded.