U.S. sanctions on Iran amount to ‘crimes against humanity’: envoy

September 23, 2020 - 20:18

TEHRAN — Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva says U.S. sanctions on Iran amount to “crimes against humanity”.

The imposition of unilateral sanctions is an international offence, Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh said in a statement to the regular session of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Baghaei Hamaneh said those who imposed such sanctions and those who enforced them will both be held responsible in the international arena, IRNA reported.

He called for shared efforts and tough stance of the international community against the injustice.

The Iranian ambassador pointed to the U.S. disregard for numerous requests by the UN secretary general, UN human rights commissioner and different human rights mechanisms, saying the U.S. approach is a “serious alarm” to the world.

He pointed out that Washington’s efforts to reimpose the old international sanctions against Iran is another example of its bullying and its disregard for international law and the UN Charter.

On Saturday, the U.S. asserted that all UN sanctions eased or lifted by the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are reimposed and must be enforced by UN member states.

However, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the United Nations will not take any action, “pending clarification by the Security Council” on whether sanctions that have been lifted should be reimposed.

China and Russia have strongly rejected the U.S. stance, while Britain, France and Germany — the so-called E3 — pointed out that the U.S. move did not have legal effect.

Back in May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the JCPOA. He later adopted a “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran to force it to negotiate a new deal.

According to Baghaei Hamaneh, the fact that numerous calls from the UN bodies and others for lifting unilateral sanctions have gone unheeded by Washington is an alarming sign that the international community needs to get united against this scourge before it gets too late.

“The U.S. has constantly intensified its unilateral sanctions against the targeted states and very recently turned a new low by invoking certain discarded UNSC resolutions to further demonstrate its contempt for international law and multilateralism,” he stated.

“Iran is determined to continue its maximum resilience and resistance against the U.S.’s unjust and unlawful pressure campaign,” he added.

The ambassador further said that states have an obligation under international law not to give any effect to other states’ wrongful acts.


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