Iran Again Loses U.N. Voting Rights Over $18M in Unpaid Dues, 7 Other Nations Also Owe

Iran is among eight nations that will lose their voting rights in the 193-member General Assembly of the United Nations over unpaid dues, according to a Wednesday letter from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Along with Iran, Venezuela, Sudan, Antigua and Barbuda, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea are losing their voting rights over unpaid dues, according to the letter Guterres sent to General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid.

A member nation can lose voting rights in accordance with U.N. rules regarding when unpaid dues equal or exceed the total that the country has contributed for the last two full years.

Iran lost its voting rights last January before regaining them in June by making the minimum payment for owed dues. When they regained the voting rights, Iranian officials blamed the United States for sanctions they said prevented them from accessing billions of dollars in foreign banks across the globe that could have paid their fees.

The minimum payment needed to regain voting rights is over $18 million for Iran, along with $39 million for Venezuela and just short of $300,000 for Sudan.

Last June, Iran made the minimum payment of over $16 million to regain the voting rights, according to the Associated Press.

"Illegal U.S. sanctions have not just deprived our people of medicine; they have also prevented Iran from paying our dues in arrears to the U.N. After more than six months of working on it, the U.N. today announced it has received the funds. ALL inhumane sanctions must be lifted NOW," Iran's U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi tweeted at the time.

United Nations Iran Venezuela Unpaid Dues
Iran and seven other nations are set to lose their voting rights in the United Nations General Assembly over unpaid dues to the organization. Above, the U.N. emblem is seen in front of the United Nations Office (UNOG) on June 8, 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. Johannes Simon/Getty Images

The suspension takes effect immediately.

The U.N. Charter also gives the General Assembly the authority to decide "that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member," and in that case a country can continue to vote.

The General Assembly decided that three African countries on the list of nations in arrears—Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia—would be able to keep their voting rights.

The five other countries each need less than $75,000 to restore their voting rights.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran after pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers in 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.