World News

Iran criticises U.N. Security Council "injustice"

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran blamed on Monday a “blatant injustice” for its failure last week to win a seat on the U.N. Security Council, which has imposed sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities, but suggested it would try again.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi accused Japan of monopolizing the Asian seat on the 15-seat Council, after Tokyo overwhelmingly defeated Tehran in a U.N. assembly vote on Friday for the right to sit on the council for two years.

Japan has held a council seat several times since Iran last served its turn in 1956, when the U.S.-backed Shah, later ousted in a 1979 Islamic revolution, ruled the Middle Eastern country.

“I think that this is blatant injustice ... We will continue to try to establish justice in this part of the United Nations organisation,” Qashqavi told reporters.

“We don’t see any logical reason for monopolizing this seat in the Security Council.”

The Security Council is the powerhouse of the United Nations with the ability to impose sanctions and dispatch peacekeepers. It has five permanent members, with veto power, and 10 non-permanent members.

It has slapped three sets of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear work. The West believes Iran is seeking to build atomic bombs, a charge Tehran denies saying its plans are peaceful and aimed at generating electricity. (Reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Dominic Evans)