Sanctions on Iran has revealed U.S. ‘inhuman’ image: analyst

April 25, 2020 - 17:37

TEHRAN - The United States’ sanction on Iran while the country is fighting the coronavirus pandemic has revealed Washington’s “inhuman” image, says an American political analyst.

In an interview with IRNA published on Saturday, Caleb Maupin said that the U.S. sanctions violate international law.

Maupin said that the U.S. sanctions have impeded Iran’s access to medicine and medical equipment.

Over 70 civil society groups representing more than 40 million people urged U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday to issue immediate sanctions relief for numerous countries, including Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, for at least the duration of the coronavirus crisis which threatens to kill thousands in the hard-hit countries.

According to Common Dreams, the “urgent appeal” came in the form of an open letter sent by the groups to Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, calling for curtailing the sanctions regime for the duration of the pandemic.

Entitled “Lift Sanctions, Save Lives,” the initiative is aimed at ensuring the economic warfare by the U.S. claims as few lives as possible as the nations fight off the health crisis.

“Denying people access to lifesaving resources now represents a risk to the entire world,” said Daniel Jasper of the American Friends Service Committee, a signatory to the letter. “The U.S. must rethink its approach to sanctions.”

Peace Action senior policy director Paul Kawika Martin said, “Sanctions kill innocents indiscriminately just like bombs.”

“During this pandemic crisis, the U.S. needs to remove all barriers, like sanctions, so countries can counteract COVID-19,” he said.

A leaked intelligence brief reveals U.S. sanctions have “left Iran bereft of financial resources to mount an effective public health response,” according to The Nation.

Citing the military intelligence cable, The Nation reported on Wednesday that the U.S. sanctions have “badly crippled” Iran’s economy as well as its ability to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The document, which dated April 3, warns that U.S. sanctions have left Iran “unable to order ventilators from abroad, which are crucial for treatment.”

One segment of the briefing says “President Trump refuses to let up on choke hold.”

Norman Roule, a retired CIA official who served as national intelligence manager for Iran until 2017, told The Nation that the international community should do everything it can to enable the Iranian people to obtain access to medical supplies and equipment partly because “as Iranians travel throughout the region, they will continue to disperse the virus.”

Chris Murphy, the U.S. senator from Connecticut, warned on April 13 that the Trump administration could be partially responsible for “the death of innocent people” if it continues its current policies towards Iran amidst the epidemic.

“If this epidemic continues to grow and spread in Iran it will…result in the death of innocent people, partially as a result of U.S. policy that does not accrue to the national security benefit of our country,” he told reporters on a conference call, The National Interest reported.

“Remember, if we don’t beat it there, we don’t beat it here. This virus doesn’t respect borders,” he added. “It’s just good public health policy to help even our adversaries beat back this scourge.”

Murphy had penned a March 26 letter, signed by ten other Democratic senators, asking the Trump administration to ensure that Iran and Venezuela can import medical supplies and other humanitarian goods to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Murphy also wrote on his Twitter page on April 6 that Iranians are dying of coronavirus partly because of U.S. sanctions. 

“Innocent civilians are dying there in part because our sanctions are limiting humanitarian aid during coronavirus,” he tweeted.


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