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.