Global Policy Forum

Iran urges reform of UN Security Council

Picture Credit: Buzzle

Iran has urged reform of the UN Security Council at a recent meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement stating that the current structure of the Council poses a "challenge" to global peace. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stated that sanctions imposed by the Council, in dealing with issues that are "not necessarily a threat to global peace and security," are often inappropriate and have violated human rights. He complained that various Council reform proposals, especially those submitted by the NAM, are weakened by differences within the movement and lack of a strong common position.

Tue, 14 Jul 2009


Iran has called for a major reform of the UN Security Council aimed at improving its efficiency in dealing with international challenges.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who was speaking at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Egypt, said the current structure of the UNSC posed a 'challenge' to global peace and thus needed to undergo major 'reforms'. The dignitary said the UN Security Council, as the main body responsible for providing global peace and security, remains silent on certain challenges facing the current world.

"In dealing with issues that are not necessarily a threat to global peace and security, the UN Security Council has increasingly appealed to Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Consequently, sanctions imposed by the Council, in this regard, are mostly inappropriate means and have violated human rights."

Chapter Seven of the UN Charter allows the Security Council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to take military and nonmilitary action to "restore international peace and security". Chapter VII of the UN Charter, for instance, categorizes Iraq as an outlawed country, placing constraints on its political, military and economic activities due to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Under this Chapter, Iraq's assets in world banks have been frozen "to pay compensation to Kuwait" for Iraq's invasion. The body, however, has done nothing to compensate another Iraq's neighbor, Iran, which was invaded by the former Iraqi dictator in 1980s. The war, which dragged for eight years, cost Iran over USD 500 billion.

Meanwhile, more than five years has passed since the fall of the dictator and the establishment of a democratically-elected government in Iraq, but the UN has yet to remove the war-torn country from its list of threatening nations. Mottaki, whose country is under three rounds of UNSC sanctions over its nuclear work, added that the restructuring of the Council would turn the body into a 'more democratic, responsible and committed' organization.

Iran calls the sanctions 'illegal' and has called on the UN Security Council to disengage itself from its nuclear work, which is under constant supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory, grants its members the right to develop a civilian nuclear program.

The West, spearheaded by the US, however, continues to level accusations against Iran. Mottaki arrived in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh in the early hours of Monday to take part in a two-day ministerial meeting of NAM members scheduled for July 13-14.

The NAM comprises of 118 countries and is an international organization of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It represents nearly two-thirds of the UN members. The organization has so far issued several statements in support of Iran's nuclear activities.


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