New Dimensions of human rights violations - Zaeri Amirani


Almost every day when browsing through the media, a new sanction by the U.S. government on other countries comes up. They are applied so frequently that it seems imposing sanctions has become the favorite pastime of the U.S. The sanctions which are so called "punitive", are imposed on any state that acts against the will of the U.S. says says Iran’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Zaeri Amirani.

The Ambassador said that although such measures were meant to target governments and force them to back down, the ultimate victims were the people.

"The sanctions and its political, economic and legal aspects have been widely addressed by politicians and the mass media, but its impact on the people in the country receiving the sanctions has received less attention. A significant matter that relates to some basic rights of the people and disregarding it, could be considered a form of human rights violation.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1948, entitles all people to have the right to life, liberty, nationality, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to work and to be educated and the right to food and housing. All economic sanctions targeting any state will directly influence the people and their quality of life, hence depriving them of a normal life, is in contradiction with human rights principles.

When it comes to Iran, sanctions go beyond the limits and take newer forms to fulfill multi–pronged purposes. Sanctions become a race for the U.S. and its allies to compete on imposing the strongest restrictions and to boast about. The history of sanctions against Iran dates back to almost four decades. The first sanctions along with freezing Iran’s assets, which kicked in against the country in 1979 and aggravated by eight years of Saddam imposed war, inflicted heavy casualties and grievous sufferings on the Iranian people.

Imposition of severe sanctions on Iran, which at times are eased in parts and reimposed again, has been an inalienable part of U.S. policy towards Iran during the past forty years. However, it’s not the sanctions per se that are important here, but it’s the double standards approach on human rights and its philanthropic gesture towards Iranian people that matters.

Many instances of violation of Iranian people’s rights can be seen, by taking a brief glance at what is happening in the international arena. The U.S. decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and rejecting recent ruling by the International Court of Justice ordering Washington to lift restrictive measures linked to humanitarian trade, food, medicine and civil aviation are the most recent cases to name a few.

The nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was finalized in 2015 in Vienna by Iran and six world powers and endorsed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, to restrict Iran nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions. Needless to mention that all member states are required to commit themselves to implement the JCPOA and normalize their economic, trade and banking relations with Iran.

The US pulled out of the agreement in May 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran. It’s so much surprising that a UN member blames and imposes sanctions on a country which abides by the UN Security Council resolution. Worse is to persuade other members to cease implementing the JCPOA by cutting their ties with Iran and threatening to punish countries and companies which keep their cooperation with Iran. This is a true indication of unilateralism and disrespect to international norms and a clear breach of international law.

It goes without saying that violation of international treaties, imposition of oppressive sanctions against innocent people, bullying, intimidation and lack of basic decorum for nations and cultures, results in extremism in the world, which in turn leads to turmoil, bloodshed and finally violation of human rights", the Ambassador said

Ambassador Amirani, quoting Iran’s famous 13th century poet Saadi said ;

Human beings are members of a whole In creation of one essence and soul If one member is afflicted with pain Other members uneasy will remain If you have no sympathy for human pain The name of human you cannot retain.


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