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EghtesadOnline: Iran's new ambassador to the United Nations says he will strengthen the country's status in debates over international issues, laws and policies, and fight unilateralism that poses a threat to the world.

"A series of international treaties are drawn up in the United Nations, which is an important issue. So we want to have a say and play a role in the drafting of these agreements. It should not be the case that some individuals decide to draft a treaty and approve it, and then we choose to either join it or not," Majid Takht-Ravanchi told IRNA in a recent interview.

The career diplomat said he plans to strengthen Iran's participation in global negotiations over socioeconomic issues, international peace and security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, regional developments and environment, particularly measures aimed at tackling air pollution.

The envoy said the United Nations is a remarkable platform to promote multilateralism and express opposition to unilateralism and disrespect for international agreements such as the Iran nuclear accord, Financial Tribune reported.

Takht-Ravanchi was among negotiators who helped Iran reach agreement in 2015 with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China on limiting its nuclear activity in return for sanctions relief. But the deal was thrown into doubt last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the accord. 

Some political experts say Takht-Ravanchi's move to the United Nations is noteworthy, as Tehran is trying to salvage the deal in cooperation with other co-signatories who have pledged to shield Iran from renewed US sanctions.

 

 

Unilateralism

Unilateralism is a serious challenge in today's world, the ambassador reiterated, adding that defending national interests would be a priority for the Iranian mission in the world body. 

"Safeguarding national interests is on top of the agenda. When we want to express our views at the United Nations, we will consider our national interests first … We will stand against unilateralism as it conflicts with our national interests," he said. 

Takht-Ravanchi, who had been a senior political adviser in the office of President Hassan Rouhani since 2017, said Iran is in talks with members of the Security Council and other UN members over Washington's "illegal" withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. 

He lamented that some countries in the region are supporting the United States in its confrontation with the Islamic Republic and said it will ultimately backfire. 

"If they consider the long-term implications of this attitude, they will realize that they should try to resolve regional issues inside the region rather than looking toward outsiders who are thinking about their own interests," he said.   

The official stressed that the current approach will harm their own interests and those of the entire region in the long run.

 

 

Future of INSTEX 

On the future of a special financial mechanism set up by Europe to maintain bilateral trade, Takht-Ravanchi said the European signatories to the nuclear agreement should take practical steps to secure Iran's economic interests under the deal. 

INSTEX or Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges has been launched to conduct non-dollar trade with Tehran via a system that would avert US penalties. 

The new trade vehicle will initially be used only for smaller trade, such as humanitarian products and food, rather than oil-related transactions as repeatedly demanded by Tehran. 

The Europeans have expressed "political" support for the agreement, but political statements are not sufficient as they cannot offset the impact of US sanctions and the resulting damage to the Iranian economy, the senior diplomat said, calling on Europe to act faster to preserve the deal. 

Takht-Ravanchi noted that he is well aware of the importance of "public diplomacy" and will make every effort to use its potential to clarify Tehran's policies and stance on various issues. 

 

UN envoy Iran Majid Takht-Ravanchi Voice on World Stage ambassador to the United Nations international issues