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Iran complains to UN chief that US should be held accountable over sanctions

Published: Updated:

The United Nations should hold the United States accountable for re-imposing sanctions on Monday to choke off Iran’s oil and shipping industry, measures that defy a UN Security Council resolution, Iran’s UN ambassador wrote in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“The irresponsible conduct of the United States necessitates a collective response by the international community in order to uphold the rule of law, to prevent undermining diplomacy and to protect multilateralism,” Iranian UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo wrote, calling for the United States to be held responsible.

The Iranian ambassador said the United States "not only blatantly defies the Security Council resolution 2231" that endorsed the nuclear deal, "but also audaciously coerces other states to violate the resolution."

"Those sanctions are illegal and run counter to the well-established principles" of non-interference in internal affairs and freedom of international trade, he added.

The United States reimposed oil and financial sanctions against Iran on Monday, significantly turning up the pressure on Tehran in order to curb its missile and nuclear programs and counter its growing military and political influence in the Middle East.

The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on the Iranian regime's energy, shipping and financial sectors, targeting over 700 entities.

Many of these companies were initially hit by Obama-era sanctions that were subsequently lifted when the US entered the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.

The move will restore US sanctions that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the administration of President Barack Obama, and add 300 new designations in Iran's oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors.

President Donald Trump announced in May that his administration was withdrawing from what he called the "worst ever" agreement negotiated by the United States. Other parties to the deal, including Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, have said they will not leave.

China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey - all top importers of Iranian oil - are among eight countries expected to be given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilized.

The countries will deposit Iran's revenue in an escrow account, US officials have said.

(With Reuters)