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US sanctions on Iran don't support 'protests', but deepen suffering: Chomsky

Prominent university professor and political analyst Noam Chomsky. (File Photo)

The US sanctions have severely harmed the Iranian economy, incidentally causing enormous suffering, according to American writer, academic and political analyst Noam Chomsky.

But harming the Iranian economy has been the US goal for over 40 years, the analyst said.

Chomsky made the remarks on Iran in an exclusive interview with Truthout, published on Wednesday.

The United States, under former president Donald Trump, reinstated crippling sanctions on Iran after unilaterally walking out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018, despite Iran's full compliance with the terms of the agreement. 

The sanctions have been choking up the financial channels that could be used towards providing Iran with essential medicine, material, or medical equipment.

Although Washington and its Western allies claim that humanitarian goods are exempted from sanctions, tens of thousands of patients in Iran have over the years died or developed critical ailments due to the non-availability of essential drugs over the years. 

Over the past weeks, the US administration and its European allies have introduced restrictive measures against a number of Iranian individuals and entities over what they claim 'a heavy-handed crackdown on violent protesters across the country'.

Touching on the latest events in Iran, Chomsky said there is no revolution in the making.

According to Chomsky, the protests seem to be leaderless, also without clearly articulated broader goals or platform apart from ‘overthrowing’ the Iranian government.

He assured there is almost no doubt the US will provide support for efforts to undermine the Iranian government, which has been a prime enemy since 1979.

“(in 1979) the US-backed tyrant who was re-installed by the US by a military coup in 1953 was overthrown in a popular uprising. The US at once gave strong support to its then-friend Saddam Hussein in his murderous assault against Iran, finally intervening directly to ensure Iran’s virtual capitulation,” Chomsky said.

The war failed to achieve its goals. When it ended, the US imposed harsh sanctions on Iran,” Chomsky pointed out.

“President Bush I — the statesman Bush — invited Iraqi nuclear engineers to the US for advanced training in nuclear weapons development and sent a high-level delegation to assure Saddam of Washington’s strong support for him. All very serious threats to Iran,” he explained.

The renowned US academic also highlighted that punishment of Iran has continued since and remains bipartisan policy, with little public debate.

"Britain, Iran’s traditional torturer before the US displaced it in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iranian democracy, is likely, as usual, to trail obediently behind the US, perhaps other allies," he noted.

Also, he said that Israel surely will do what it can to overthrow its archenemy since 1979 — previously a close ally under the Shah.

In late October, Iran’s top intelligence bodies issued a joint statement, pointing to the major role of foreign intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, in orchestrating the violent riots in Iran in the past weeks.

“Continuous and precise” intelligence monitoring in the past year as well as acquired documents during the recent unrest reveals “numerous examples and undeniable references of the all-out role of the American terrorist regime in designing, implementing, and maintaining” the unrest, the statement said.

Millions of Iranians have taken to the streets across the country to condemn acts of vandalism by rioters, while US and foreign backed media try to depict the protests as being a revolution.  

Riots broke out in Iran on September 16 after a young Iranian woman, identified as Mahsa Amini died. The 22-year-old fainted at a police station in the capital, Tehran, and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization said that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

The riots have claimed dozens of lives from security forces and innocent people as some elements derailed the protests to attack the establishment. Many Western countries have expressed their support for rioters in acts that Tehran describes as "inciting" violence and hatred.

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