'One unhinged regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time:' Iranian FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday told the United Nations Security Council that one "unhinged" regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday told the United Nations Security Council that one "unhinged" regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time and explicitly pointed the finger at the United States in his speech.

Zarif, whose visa was denied by the United States which made him impossible to attend in person the Security Council ministerial-level open debate on the topic of "Maintenance of international peace and security upholding the UN Charter," told the meeting, through the delivering of Iran's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi, that "the world is at a crossroads: With the end of monopolies on power, one unhinged regime is frantically clamoring to turn back time."

"This has meant more damaging American unilateralism in defiance of international norms and law, most recently a dastardly targeted assassination of the heroes who were the nightmare of groups such as ISIS," said Zarif.

"Since the regime's inauguration, more and more threats and attacks against the people of Iran and other sovereign nations in utter disregard of the Charter. It now even seeks to emulate the war crimes of Daesh (also known as ISIL, Islamic State, or ISIS), menacing the cultural heritage of the millennia-old civilization of Iran," said Zarif.

"Our January 8 action against an air base in Iraq from which the cowardly armed attack against martyr (Qassem) Soleimani was launched was a measured and proportionate response to a terrorist attack, in the exercise of our inherent right to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter," he said.

Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport on Friday. In retaliation, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday, which US President Donald Trump said resulted in no American or Iraqi casualties.

"This rogue US regime has withdrawn from several landmark accords, including the Paris Agreement, the INF Treaty, and not least, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. That, in an open affront to this very Council, has involved unprecedented and unlawful US punishment of anyone who attempts to comply with Resolution 2231, which unequivocally endorses the JCPOA," said the Iranian top diplomat.

Also in his speech, Zarif blasted what he called the US economic terrorism and said the US regime has adopted "mob tactics to expand or gain market share" in the face of the increasing diversification of the sources of power.

"In the case of my own country, US economic terrorism has involved the strangulation of access of ordinary Iranians to food and medicine as well as use of illegal unilateral sanctions to give American oil a foothold in Asia," said the foreign minister.

"No one is spared from this malign behavior, as evidenced by how the US approaches global trade — including its targeting of European infrastructure to force the entry of its own natural gas," said Zarif.

"The question amidst this rogue behavior is how to protect the UN Charter," the Iranian diplomat said.

"For if other states become 'passive unilateralists; if they succumb to unilateralism in their bilateral relationships or compromise Charter principles for the sake of short-term gains or the avoidance of immediate harm, they inadvertently encourage the lawless unilateralist to bully them," Zarif added.

"To protect multilateralism, we must never appease unilateralist regimes. We need political will as well as an instrument that will safeguard the values, principles and multilateralism enshrined in the Charter," said Zarif.

Zarif called for renewed commitment to the Charter, "particularly non-intervention in internal or external affairs and prohibition of the threat or use of force."

He also urged rejecting all coercive unilateral measures including sanctions as unlawful, entailing international responsibility, including financial responsibility to compensate for damages imposed on the target and third countries.

The top Iranian diplomat urged assigning international criminal responsibility for obstructing in any way, shape or form humanitarian trade.

He noted that Iran is dedicated to multilateralism and committed to the Charter and its principles.

"Our commitment to the JCPOA as well as our most recent inclusive initiative to promote peace and security in the Persian Gulf region (Hormuz Peace Endeavor, or 'HOPE') prove our strategic approach," he said.

In reaction to the US withdrawal from the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal in May 2018 and the subsequent sanctions, and in response to the Europe's sluggishness in facilitating Iran's banking transactions and its oil exports, Iran, since May 2019, has made stage-by-stage moves away from its nuclear commitments.

Iran on Sunday announced the fifth and final step to drop its commitments pertaining to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal after US killing of Soleimani. Iran also said it would continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and remain ready to re-embrace its nuclear commitments if anti-Iran sanctions were removed and its economic interests under the nuclear deal were secured.

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