Trump’s Iran Sanctions May Lead to Economic War: UN Expert

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House
President Donald Trump. Photo: White House

A UN human rights experts has warned that the sanctions imposed on Iran by President Donald Trump are unjust and harmful, and may lead to generalized economic war.

“Sanctions must be just, and must not lead to the suffering of innocent people,” said United Nations Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy on Wednesday.

“The reimposition of sanctions against Iran after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which had been unanimously adopted by the Security Council with the support of the US itself, lays bare the illegitimacy of this action,” Mr. Jazairy observed.

Earlier this month, Trump had announced to re-impose all sanctions lifted or waived in connection with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). On May 8, 2018, Trump had decided to cease the participation of the United States in the JCPOA of July 14, 2015.

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“This illegitimacy was confirmed by the opposition of all other permanent members of the Security Council and indeed of all international partners. The UN Charter calls for sanctions to be applied only by the UN Security Council precisely to ensure such wanton attacks on nations are avoided,” the UN expert stressed.

He added that international sanctions must have a lawful purpose, must be proportional, and must not harm the human rights of ordinary citizens, and none of these criteria is met in this case.

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In a White House statement, Trump had said that the sanctions are re-imposed on Iran with the aim of applying financial pressure on the Iranian regime in pursuit of a comprehensive and lasting solution to the full range of the threats posed by Iran.

The threats, according to the statement, include Iran’s proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, its network and campaign of regional aggression, its support for terrorist groups, and the malign activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its surrogates. The sanctions are also supposed to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon.

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“These unjust and harmful sanctions are destroying the economy and currency of Iran, driving millions of people into poverty and making imported goods unaffordable,” Mr. Jazairy stressed, while questioning whether the United States would provide food and medicines to the millions of Iranians no longer able to afford them.

The expert applauded efforts by the international community to reject economic bullying. “I sincerely hope that the international community can come together to see that the world does not become a battleground for generalized economic war,” said Mr. Jazairy.

These unilateral sanctions, together with other recent developments led the expert to warn against the generalization of economic war at the world level.

Mr. Idriss Jazairy was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

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Rakesh Raman