Sanctions have put the lives of vulnerable people at risk: UN envoy

February 15, 2022 - 18:8

TEHRAN - Zahra Ershadi, deputy permanent representative of Iran to the UN, has slammed U.S. sanctions against the Iranian nation, saying "these illegal actions have directly impacted the lives of Iran's most vulnerable citizens, including women, children, and patients."

"What is further distressing is the reality that many children have lost their lives as a result," she said, IRNA reported.

"As our President stated in his address to the UNGA session, imposing unilateral sanctions against the Iranian people, particularly sanctions on medicine and humanitarian items, are criminal acts on par with crimes committed against humanity. Those who sanction countries should not go unpunished for such heinous crimes," Ershadi said addressing the United Nations Commission for Social Development.

In May 2018, the U.S. began to unilaterally impose sanctions against Iran after the former left the Iran agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The U.S., under former president Donald Trump, launched what it called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran at the time, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” sanctions.

Although Trump failed to reach its professed goals with his maximum pressure campaign, the bans have badly hurt the Iranian population.

The sanctions, preserved under the Joe Biden administration, have restricted the financial channels necessary to pay for basic goods and medicine, undermining supply chains by limiting the number of suppliers willing to facilitate sales of humanitarian goods to the country.

Iran has repeatedly denounced the sanctions as an act of “economic war”, “economic terrorism”, and “medical terrorism”.

"Under the current circumstances, the Government of Iran has provided special financial packages as well as social and economic rehabilitation plans for poor and people in the vulnerable situation along with economic support measures, especially for small businesses," the Iranian diplomat said.

"In the meantime, treatment programs have been provided for around 4 million legal and illegal Afghan refugees," Ershadi added.

She went on to say, "The United Nations system and its specialized agencies can play an important role in exchanging countries' successful experiences in implementing post- COVID economic and social rehabilitation projects, as well as mobilizing international financial resources to achieve the desired national goals in the post- COVID era."

"The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the daily life of every single person. Women, children, the elderly, medical personnel, refugees, migrants, and those suffering from chronic and rare diseases are the most affected," she noted.

"In fact, the pandemic has made the negative humanitarian effects of unilateral sanctions far more obvious and more disastrous," the diplomat stressed.

"The illegal sanctions have hampered access of vulnerable segments of the society in affected countries, including my country, to basic medical items and requirements extremely difficult, thus endangering the lives and health of those citizens," Ershadi said.

"Medicines, medical supplies, and health commodities have been targeted through tight restrictions of foreign exchange resources, even for these humanitarian items," she added.

"As our President stated in his address to the UNGA session, imposing unilateral sanctions against the Iranian people, particularly sanctions on medicine and humanitarian items, are criminal acts on par with crimes committed against humanity," she noted.
 

MG

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