TEHRAN – Iran’s former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday pointed to remarks by UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan who has confirmed the U.S. bans on Iran is causing civilian deaths, saying Washington’s “economic terrorism” that is falsely called “sanctions” is killing Iranians, including children.
Zarif also said the United States is sacrificing its own interests by “weaponizing” food and medicine for the sake of Israel.
“UN Special Rapporteur @AlenaDouhan confirms US #EconomicTerrorism—speciously named ‘sanctions’ for appearance of pseudo-legality—hurt & kill Iranians, including children. US is sacrificing its own interests in weaponizing food & medicine @ Israel’s behest,” Zarif tweeted.
Israel, especially its former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was one of the main provokers of the Trump administration to abrogate the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Trump quit the JCPOA in May 2018 in line with his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic. Trump acknowledged that the sanctions against Iran were unprecedented in history.
In September 2019, Zarif also wrote, “Escalating US economic WAR on Iranians, @realDonaldTrump ordered SoT ‘to substantially increase sanctions against the COUNTRY of Iran! ?It’s admission that US is DELIBERATELY targeting ordinary citizens: ?#EconomicTerrorism, illegal & inhuman. Stop war & terror. #Security4All.”
Trump was not even ready to loosen sanctions against Iran when the country was hit severely the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time Zarif said economic terrorism has been supplanted by “medical terrorism”.
UN Special Rapporteur says delivery of medicines to Iran was ‘severely undermined’
Douhan, who visited Iran from May 7 to 18, 2022, has called for the removal of unilateral sanctions on Iran in a report that details the effect of embargos on the Islamic Republic.
In the report, published on Monday, Alena, whose role is focused on the negative result of the sanctions, said that they had affected nearly every aspect of life in Iran, and called for them to be lifted.
According to Douhan, even as medicines and food are supposed to be exempt from sanctions, general licenses issued by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) aimed at ensuring exemptions “appeared to be ineffective and nearly non-existent”.
She said delivery of medicines and medical equipment to Iran was “severely undermined” by the effects of sanctions on finance, trade, shipping, insurance and over-compliance on the part of foreign businesses and suppliers, Al Jazeera reported.
“These constitute serious impediments to the enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health by all Iranians.”
Sanctions have been imposed on Iran since 1979, when the country’s Islamic revolution took place.
The overwhelming majority of the many layers of sanctions have been imposed by the United States, but others including the European Union, Australia and Canada also have a history of blacklisting Iran and are mentioned in the report.
Since 2018, when Trump unilaterally reneged on the UN-backed 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Washington has enforced a “maximum pressure” campaign of harsh sanctions that have been expanded by President Joe Biden, even as efforts continue to restore the accord.