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Sanctions on Iran, the Most Obvious Indication of Human Rights Violation

After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, our country has always been under global pressure. We have fought a war and we’ve been threatened with a military attack and we have been sanctioned as well. These economic sanctions were the most useful tools for the western countries.

Economic sanction is a planned action by one or several countries for restricting economic relations to put pressure on a certain country with various political purposes. We can put these economic sanctions in two categories: 1. Commercial sanction, in which import and export to the target country would be eliminated, 2. Restricting financial relations. In the last few decades, Iran has been exposed to all forms of sanctions.

The question is do these countries have the right to use such sanctions to put our country under pressure and the second issue is who do they want to put under pressure, the government or people?

To answer these questions first we need to quickly review a few examples of these sanctions;

After the Islamic revolution in Iran, U.S president Carter has gave orders to put sanctions against Iran and all Iran’s properties in the U.S were froze.

The next year, according to code 12205, all imports to Iran except for food and medicine were banned.

Some sanctions target peoples’ life directly; prohibiting Iran from buying new aircrafts has cost the life of many citizens.

Investment prohibition: This year another resolution has been issued against Iran in the Security Council which was apposes international law while earlier IAEA general secretary issued a report showing Iran cooperation with the agency. One of the most unfair sanctions issued by the Security Council is Preventing Iranian citizens and organizations abroad to invest in the country.

Prohibition of transferring technical educations: Security Council has made some arrangements for preventing technology and technical education in Iran in order to enforce Iran to fully follow NPT. This Council has banned other countries too from transferring any kind of education or technical services.

Debilitation of Iran’s defense structure: From the beginning of the Islamic revolution in Iran and until this moment, western countries have always tried to witness Iran’s weakness. Arms embargo was among the contests of 1929 resolution.

Misuse of power for certain goals: Despite all international rules and principles Security Council resolution allowed countries to examine through all loadings coming and going to Iran.

Restriction of banking transaction for Iranian subjects: Nowadays that we can witness the development of international trade and money transactions and international contracts, it’s very difficult to avoid banking system. Usually, people in every country prefer to use banking system for money transaction and singing contracts than doing it personally. Security Council issued a resolution restricting authorities of the Iranian banks regardless the damage people may face. There is no doubt that these kin of sanctions target Iranian people rather than government.

Some sanctions target peoples’ life directly such as prevention of medicine import and prohibition of buying new aircrafts that led to the death of many people. Even renal patients who used to use certain medicine for kidney disease have been disadvantaged.

Countries are not allowed to boycott

Economic sanction is an inhumane policy of the NATO countries. It merely kills people. For instance, sanctions on Iraq have turned the country into a catastrophe; chronic malnutrition, deterioration of health condition and rapid growth of death especially for children under the age of five. Sanctions were only the beginning to get into a bloody war against Iraqi civilians. Governments actually taking people as hostages by boycotting them. These types of sanctions remind us to the sanctions were issued against Iraq at the time of Saddam Hussein which had catastrophic results. Results that made governments to review sanctions before issuance.

Sanctions should be issued based on three factors; necessity, appropriateness, and humanity. By considering the element of humanity, governments would refrain to issue sanctions that put peoples’ life in danger.

Sanctions imposed on a country should be limited within “human rights framework and humanitarian standards”. Right of Living is considered the most important one. It doesn’t only defend people against execution, torture, disappearance or such things. Avoiding taking peoples’ lives by refrain to supply people with social needs (food, health facilities, medical care…) is also included within Right of Living.

International covenant on civil-social rights of human rights committee has the same approach towards Right of Living. The Committee indicates that providing basic needs for people is of a high priority in supporting Right of Living. Accordingly, even when the Security Council decides to put sanctions on a certain country, these restrictions should not contradict Right of Living.

It should be mentioned that in a result of sanctions, people of that country will be mostly damaged. Effective sanctions will have huge effect on low and middle class citizens and make the conditions much difficult for them. In fact, boycotting a country does not target the government but also citizens will be under pressure too due to plentiful of problems. UN has become a legal tool for issuing sanctions and unfortunately it is strongly dominated by the governments financing this organization. No wonder we see some countries getting boycotted for the sake of their governments to reach their goals. Today, U.S government took some measures to deal with Iran threats and to put more pressure on Iran to quit the right for nuclear energy. These measures including the most basic and primitive rights of Iranian citizens result in death of thousands of people. These are most significant indications of human rights violation conducted by seemingly legal instruments.


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