Professor says U.S. sanctions harming Iranians’ health

May 8, 2020 - 18:30

TEHRAN - Marvin Zonis, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has said that the United States’ sanctions harm the Iranian people’s health.

“These sanctions cause harms to the Iranian people’s health. There is no doubt that the people of Iran are suffering from the sanctions,” Zonis told ILNA in an interview published on Wednesday.

He urged Washington to revise its policy of imposing sanctions.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said the Trump administration is promoting its “economic terrorism to medical terrorism” against Iran.

In an interview with IRNA published on April 25, Caleb Maupin, an American analyst, said that the U.S. sanctions on Iran while the country is fighting the coronavirus pandemic has revealed Washington’s “inhuman” image.

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 April 23 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 April 22 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.

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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