Iran to U.S. Treasury: Sanctions are the war itself 

December 16, 2019 - 16:12

TEHRAN - The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday, rejected U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s remarks that sanctions are alternative to war, noting that sanctions are exactly economic war. 

Seyed Abbas Mousavi’s tweet reads, “@stevenmnuchin1 stated, #sanctions are the alternative to war! Truth is: "Sanctions" are the war itself. It is indeed the economic war and worse than that, the #EconomicTerrorism which unfairly targets civilians especially children, the elderly & the sick.” 

CNBC quoted Mnuchin as saying on Saturday that “the reason why we’re using sanctions is because they are an important alternative for world military conflicts.”

Talking at the Doha Forum, Mnuchin also claimed that the U.S. in not weaponizing the dollar.

In an interview with CNN aired on September 24, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that sanctions were war.

“Sanctions are war. Because in a war, usually military targets are chosen. In sanctions, civilians are the targets. So, it’s war. It’s more than war,” he said.

During a speech at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September, Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Tehran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, called the consequences of unilateral sanctions against Iran “crime against humanity”.

He urged the United Nations to take action in stopping the sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani said in June that the U.S. sanctions are examples of “crime against humanity and economic terrorism” because they have targeted ordinary people’s “lives and needs”.

“It should not be said that the U.S. has imposed sanctions on us because they are not sanctions. They are a crime against humanity. They could be called sanctions if they targeted some of our sensitive industries, but they are a crime against humanity and economic terrorism when they target the people’s lives and needs,” he stated.

Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, in May 2018 and restored the previous sanctions against Iran and ordered new ones. Trump has described his government’s sanctions against Iran as “economic war”.


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