By Mohammad Mazhari

U.S. should compensate illegal sanctions against Iran and Cuba: Tampere University scholar 

November 3, 2020 - 22:17

TEHRAN – An American academic says that the U.S. should compensate the decades-old illegal sanctions and embargo against Iran and Cuba.

Tuomo Melasuo, a political science professor at Tampere University, tells the Tehran Times that the idea of conditionality for the U.S. return to the JCPOA can reinforce multilateralism around the world.
The following is the text of the interview:

Q:  The U.S. is practicing more and more unilateral policies and at the same time it withdraws from major international and multilateral treaties. This policy continues to isolate that country. Don’t you think this would allow the rest of the world, especially China and Russia together with Europe, to challenge the United States’ leading role in many different fields?

A:  It is true that the USA is isolating herself more and more from world affairs. However, this is a very ambivalent evolution. The general trend today goes in the opposite direction, nobody can face the future alone anymore. We do not need another North Korea, even if it is a former “superpower”. It is extremely difficult to say if China, Russia, and Europe can have a common stand towards the USA, but if they want to remain responsible countries, they must fulfill the expectations the rest of the world is placing on them.

Q:  Do you agree that Iran should demand compensation for the losses the U.S. has caused through its illegal sanctions? 

A: This also is a difficult question that should be debated on an international level. Illegal sanctions are causing suffering for many nations and innocent people.

 Of course, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif can require that the USA compensate Iran’s losses. Nevertheless, the goal of the international community should be larger and should aim at the creation of a regime where all rogue states, be it a superpower, would be prosecuted for unilateral and illegal sanctions.

This kind of conditionality for the USA’s return to the JCPOA could be an occasion to strengthen this multilateral drive towards a more just world.

Further on, besides the sanctions against Iran, the USA should compensate also for the decades-old illegal sanctions and embargo against Cuba.

Q:   Do you think the controversies between Iran and the U.S. would end with a war?

A:  Of course, I hope that these controversies will not lead to war. It would be the worst thing to happen for both antagonists, but at the same time, it would be a catastrophe for the whole Middle East (West Asia) and for the international community. This requires that both antagonists do all they can in order to avoid the war. Today’s international community and also individual countries have such complex and multiform profiles that war is not a solution, on the contrary.

Q:  Why does Israel oppose creating a West Asia zone free of nuclear weapons?

A:  Up to my understanding there are mainly two explanations for your question.

 Primo, that Israel has never recognized that it owns nuclear arms. It might voluntarily maintain secrecy on it also for leaving the world to believe that it could really use those arms against its neighbors.

 Second, if the nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East (West Asia) would be created, on one hand, it would reduce the strategic weight of the USA and its vassal in the area. On the other hand, the NWFZME will reduce the tensions in the region and make them more local. At the same time, the only nuclear arms country in the area will lose its strategic position and become a banal local entity.

By the way, I am wondering why this crucial issue has not been included in Mr. Trump’s efforts for peace, neither it seems to play no role in the new initiative’s countries like the UAE and Bahrain have done recently.

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