The cruel US sanctions hitting innocent Iranians already fighting corona

The cruel US sanctions hitting innocent Iranians already fighting corona

By Jan Oberg

March 16, 2020

We hear next to nothing about these sanctions in the so-called free media – primary sanctions by the US hitting Iran directly, secondary sanctions by the US demanding other countries – the EU and NATO allies in particular – to implement its sanctions, i.e. to accept that US sanctions laws shall apply to them as sovereign states.

The EU has not been able to get its acts together and respect the nuclear deal, or JCPOA: not in autumn 2015 when it could not find a way to temporarily host 1,5 million refugees arriving as asylum seekers from countries destroyed predominantly by the EU/NATO members themselves – and not now when the coronavirus hits Europe and they have let China be the one who helps their neighbour Italy.

On March 15, 2020, I was asked by Iran’s PressTV to comment on these matters in the wake of Iranian foreign minister, Dr Javad Zarif’s statement with which I wholeheartedly agree:

Iran’s foreign minister has called on the international community to disregard what he called the United States’ inhuman sanctions on Iran amid a rapidly-spreading Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

In a tweet, Mohammad Javad Zarif said he has written to the United Nations’ secretary-general to urge the body and member states demand that U-S sanctions be lifted.
In the letter, Zarif says the U-S sanctions directly undermine Iran’s efforts to fight the coronavirus epidemic. He said this is collective punishment of Iranians and a violation of international humanitarian law.
The secondary U-S sanctions subject any country that engages in trade with Iran to Washington’s punishments. This makes it almost impossible for Iran to import medicine and medical equipment.

And Zarif slams the U.S.
“Inhuman sanctions on Iran must be lifted”
“Sanctions undermine Iran’s fight on Covid 19”

I took the opportunity to also refer to the shameful case of the Scandinavian NORDEA bank with branches in 20 countries to block my own attempt to send a small donation to the Iranian Red Crescent when, in 2019, Iran had widespread floods that hit about 10 million people.

Google-owned YouTube has, without notice or explanation, closed down PressTV’s channel. One must assume that US foreign policy is now so weak that the US feels compelled to limit the access to qualified criticism from other leading media around the world.

In this case, it can definitely not argue morally for what is the beginning of a genocide on the Iranian people. The 13 years of tight sanctions on Iraq caused more of the 1 million or so Iraqis’ deaths than the war itself. The sanctions on Iran seem even tighter and more suffocating.

And what would it take to lift them? Little less than Iran’s total submission to US demands; but its history documents rather well that that won’t happen. Instead – as I also hint – Iran will turn its back to the West.

PressTV has chosen to set up a channel on Urmedium and you may watch the 7 min discussion with me here.

5 Responses to "The cruel US sanctions hitting innocent Iranians already fighting corona"

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  4. Marc Herbermann   March 17, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    It reflects the failure of the EU, or one might say the inability of the EU to stand on its own feet in foreign policy if they are unable to meet their obligations under the JCPOA after the US has pulled out. President Trump’s comments on 29 February that he would help Iran in the current crisis are, in my view, pure hypocrisy in the face of lethal sanctions. “We can help the Iranians… We have the greatest healthcare professionals in the world… We would love to help them. All they have to do is ask.” Is fear of the United States the reason why Europeans are not upholding their obligations under this Treaty? Perhaps it is more the fear of powerful lobby groups in the USA.

    Yes, the leading Western media do not report on the suffering of the people of Iran due to the unjustified and inhuman primary and secondary sanctions. It is therefore gratifying that some people in public life, I am thinking for example of Jan Oberg, are putting the distorted Western reporting on Iran in perspective.

    I do not agree with the statements about the Chinese measures in the interview. The WHO praised the actions of the Chinese leadership in the face of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. I am more sceptical about that. In December 2019 and January 2020, Chinese officials apparently wanted to prevent information about this virus from spreading. Wuhan authorities summoned and admonished Dr. Li Wenliang for “making false comments on the Internet”. People who wanted to report on the situation were silenced. Is the Chinese leadership really “able to combat the coronavirus”? Or is their main goal to make other countries believe they can? I doubt that “the party, the administration, the local communities and the people in China” are “speaking like one”.

  5. F Jahanpour   March 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    It is truly outrageous that even in the face of a global pandemic the Trump administration continues its illegal, extraterritorial sanctions on Iran. It shows that it lacks any humanity. It is equally deplorable that the rest of the world, including Europe that calls itself the cradle of liberal democracy and human rights, is so weak and inept that it cannot stand for international law and reject US’s unilateral sanctions that are in violation of the Security Council Resolution 2231. This shows how the rule of law and international order are being violated by the US empire and its feeble colonies. We should admit this and stop criticising other countries for their alleged violation of international law.


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