Zarif’s Letter to World’s Foreign Ministers; Why Not UN?
Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, has sent a letter to his counterparts all around the world in his second initiative in less than ten days, and iterated that the United States' decision to add IRGC to the list of terrorist organizations is an unprecedented behavior with dangerous legal and political consequences.
Zarif’s letter is worthy of attention with respect to its content as well as its form. In terms of its form, one can find very few other examples of a send-to-all letter in the history of Iranian diplomacy.
This form of letters is rare because they are never paid attention to. Moreover, it is not clear if this letter was also sent to Foreign Ministers in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sudan, Canada and a few other countries which had severed all ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran. If not, it shows that channel for communication with 11 countries, such as Canada, is not open for Iran.
The important thing is that it is not only a rare incident in the history of Iranian diplomacy but also in the world of international diplomacy. The fact that Zarif attempted such to do an unpreceded act shows how dangerous the US’s move seemed to Tehran. Zarif has pointed out this in his letter. He wrote that this American move is intended to dismantle all possible peaceful procedures to resolve conflicts between Tehran and Washington DC, and it will finally lead to a direct confrontation.
Zarif avoided using “war”, but putting “direct confrontation” instead does not convey any other meanings. From this, it is not hard to guess why Zarif wrote to all his counterparts. He tries to inform them and ask them to share efforts to stop the US to move towards actualizing such an evil plan.
Needless to say, Zarif had written another letter a week earlier to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and requested him to release the letter as a UN document. He calls the American move, in both letters, an attempt to damage the international peace and security.
If true, as Zarif claims, that the US is destabilizing global order, how come Iranian government does not officially refer the issue to the United Nation? If his claims are true, which institution is more qualified to watch international order and security than the UN?
It is common knowledge that the US enjoys a superior status in the UN. Hence, it might be argued that there is no benefit in betting on the UN. However, if that is the case, Zarif should have not contacted the UN secretary general in the first place. It is correct that the US is an important player in the UN, but it is not the only one.
So why he bothers to write to all foreign ministers all around the globe, but does not file a complaint to the UN?
Resolutions Show Credibility
Zarif, who spent quite a long time at the UN, knows better than anybody that going to the UN through asking for a resolution against another party is more of an indicator of a nation’s credit on the global scene. If Iran put forward this resolution and it got only a few votes (which is very probable), it would show the low credibility of his country and, on the contrary, it would assist Trump in going ahead with more pressure on Iran.
Zarif has so far avoided a phone call to even Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, about this important issue. The absence of a connection with the EU on this matter shows Iran does not have the 27 EU votes on its side.
The other question is why Zarif has not referred this issue to other Muslim nations or the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation for that matter? The answer is the same. The Islamic Republic of Iran does not even have the Islamic nations on its side.
Therefore, Zarif is faced with the grim reality that he does not have any means to attract global attention except writing to all world’s FMs. It is not clear if it will have any results for his regime.