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US sanctions exemplify war crimes, crimes against humanity: Iran envoy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations

Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations says the United States’ illegal and unilateral sanctions targeting the country are cases in point for “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Majid Takht Ravanchi made the remarks to a virtual meeting meant to address the effects of “unilateral coercive measures on the people of the targeted countries.” The meeting had been formed at the request of the Islamic Republic and some other countries.

He described the economic bans as “immoral and inhumane” and in violation of human beings’ “basic rights.”

The Islamic Republic has been suffering from the measures for years on end, preventing the country from transacting and trading freely with the international banks and financial institutions, he said. Washington refused to relax the bans even after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the envoy noted.

Western countries allege that Iran has been “exempted” from some of the sanctions, Takht Ravanchi said. He, however, regretted that the so-called exemptions were “just on paper,” adding that the bans continued to “severely” affect the Iranians’ right to lead healthy lives by blocking their access to necessary drugs and medical equipment.

Sanctions in the service of death

“Consequently, the fatalities have risen among women, children, and [other] innocent people,” the official bemoaned, noting that the bans affected the vulnerable class to a greater extent.

The other patients, who are denied the right to life, as a result of the bans are those suffering from various cancers, making them needful of chemotherapy, and the children afflicted with the “butterfly disease” -- that makes their skin as fragile as the wings of a butterfly.

“Endangering others’ health for political purposes is not only illegal, but also a war crime and a crime against humanity that has to be dealt an international response,” Takht Ravanchi said.

“We bear a moral responsibility to stand up to sanctions, and call for their immediate removal.”

The US partially lifted the sanctions after entering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a historic nuclear accord with Iran and others. It, however, left the deal three years later, returning the bans and even extending its restrictions to other areas.

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