Iran Min Says Block On WTO Membership Is International
02/15/2000 Dow Jones Commodities Service
BANGKOK (AP)-- Iran 's commerce minister attacked Tuesday "political
matters" that have prevented his country from joining the World Trade
In a clear reference to opposition from the U.S., Commerce Minister
Mohammad Shariatmadari said the fact that his country hadn't even been
approved as a candidate for WTO membership was "an insult to the international
"We have arrived at the definite conclusion that political matters
are influencing the prevention of the accession of the Islamic Republic
of Iran to the WTO," Shariatmadari said at a news conference during
the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, which runs until Saturday.
The U.S. claims Iran is a terrorist nation and maintains trade sanctions
against it, even though they officially have normal trade ties. Other Western
countries now trade normally with Iran , which is a major oil producer.
Washington has blocked attempts by Iran to begin the process toward
joining the WTO, which sets rules for international trade among its 135
members. Some 30 nations are official candidates for membership.
"If concepts such as the non-politicization of trade are considered
to be among the principal concepts of an international organization, and
in the WTO such things shouldn't be observed, then it is a matter of regret,"
He told reporters there should be a "mother organization"
for the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, and that Iran believes Unctad
was the right body.
In another reference to the U.S., Shariatmadari added: "Some superpowers
try to make their domestic laws extraterritorial using embargoes and the
like against other countries, especially developing countries. This sort
of flouting of laws could create anarchy in the world