Iran files lawsuit against U.S. over sanctions effects

July 4, 2020 - 18:55

TEHRAN - Laya Joneidi, the presidential aide for legal affairs, announced on Saturday that Iran has filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice against the United States over effects of sanctions on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

During a visit to the Pasteur Institute, she described the sanctions as “inhuman” and against human rights.

Donald Trump’s administration has refused to remove sanctions on Iran even when the country is in the battle against the deadly coronavirus.

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden said on April 2 that Trump’s administration must ease economic sanctions on Iran as a humanitarian gesture during the global coronavirus pandemic.

He said the U.S. has a moral obligation to be among the first to offer aid to people in need regardless of where they live when confronting a virus that knows no borders or political affiliations, according to Aljazeera.

Renowned American scholar Noam Chomsky said in May it is “sheer sadism” that that the United States maintains sanctions on Iran during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The sanctions are illegitimate in the first place, and maintaining them during the pandemic is sheer sadism,” Chomsky told IRNA in an interview.

On March 31, a UN human rights expert called for lifting international sanctions against countries ranging from Iran to North Korea and Venezuela in coronavirus crisis, according to Reuters.

“The continued imposition of crippling economic sanctions on Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, and, to a lesser degree, Zimbabwe, to name the most prominent instances, severely undermines the ordinary citizens’ fundamental right to sufficient and adequate food,” Hilal Elver, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a statement.

In a letter to the G-20 economic powers on March 24, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for rolling back international sanctions regimes around the world. 

Guterres said sanctions are heightening the health risks for millions of people and weakening the global effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Foreign Policy reported.

Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, also said on March 24 that “in a context of a global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.”

“At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended,” she said in a statement.

NA/PA

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