UN calls on US to abide by ‘Host Country’ commitments amid sanctions on Zarif

TEHRAN, Aug. 07 (MNA) – United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric called on the US administration to adhere to its commitments under Host Country Agreement amid concerns that Iran FM Zarif may be banned from travel to US in September after Washington imposed illegal sanctions on him.

Asked about US sanctions on Zarif, he said that UN believes all parties should avoid measures which would further escalate tensions.

“Obviously, we'll have to wait and see what happens at the General Assembly,” he said, adding “I can't predict, but the US has obligations under the Host Country Agreement, as have other countries that host UN Headquarters or host UN conferences.”

"So, we need to let that process play out, but obviously, there are obligations under the Host Country Agreement," he said.

The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Zarif on Wednesday, saying in its statement that Zarif is Iran's "primary spokesperson around the world," and that the ban "is sending a clear message that Iran's recent behavior is completely unacceptable.” The move was quickly condemned by Iranian officials as well as the international community because of its contradiction to the international law.

Zarif said Monday that that imposing sanction on a country’s foreign minister means “failure in negotiations, failure in diplomacy, and opposition to dialogue.”

In a Tuesday letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takhte-Ravanchi described the US measure as ‘unlawful’ and ‘a flagrant infringement of the fundamental principles of diplomatic law’, calling on the international body to push back against US sanctions on Zarif.

The 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) will open on 17 September 2019 in New York.

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