Sep 23, 2020, 9:50 AM
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Iranian ambassador says US sanctions amounted to "crimes against humanity"

Tehran, Sept 23, IRNA – Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh said on Wednesday that the US unilateral sanctions on Iran amounted to "crimes against humanity".

Baghaei Hamaneh made the remarks in his statement to regular session of the UN Human Rights Council.

He said that imposition of unilateral sanctions is an international offence, noting that those who imposed such sanctions and those who enforced them will both be held internationally responsible.

The Iranian ambassador called for shared efforts and tough stance of the international community against “this injustice”.

Referring to US disregard for numerous requests by the UN secretary general, UN human rights commissioner and different human rights mechanisms to lift the sanctions, Baghaei Hamaneh said that this US approach is a serious alarm to the international community.

He said that the US new claim about the re-imposition of the old international sanctions against Iran, which were lifted following a landmark nuclear deal in 2015, is another example of US bullying and disregard of the International Law and the UN Charter by the US Administration.   

He noted that based on the principles of international law, the unlawful act of a country should not be recognized by other world countries.

The Ambassador said that "Much has been said about the negative impacts of the UCM on human rights but nothing has effectively changed. The fact that numerous calls from the UN system (UNSG, UN High Commissioner as well as other human right mechanisms, including the SR on UCMs) for lifting unilateral sanctions have been unheeded by the US is an alarming sign that the international community needs to get united against this scourge before it gets too late.  The US has constantly intensified its unilateral sanctions against the targeted States and very recently turned a new low by invoking certain discarded UNSC resolutions to further demonstrate its contempt for international law and multilateralism. They even did not spare the ICC from their unilateral sanctions."

"Iran is determined to continue its maximum resilience and resistance against the US unjust and unlawful pressure campaign. 
1)    Unilateral coercive measures are wrongful and entail the international responsibility of the imposing State. But it is also a crime due to its premeditated consequences on basic human rights of the targeted populations. We need to see UCM as a crime against humanity.
2)     Unilateral coercive measures leave sweeping impacts on the targeted people without any discrimination as to age, gender or status. There should be no illusion. There is no so-called ‘humanitarian exception’ other than on the paper. It is a sham, a big lie. The fact that the US continues to defy the ICJ’s interim measure issued on 3 October 2018 ordering the US “to lift sanctions linked to humanitarian goods and civil aviation imposed against Iran”, is very telling in this context.
3)    Complacency leads to complicity: the responsibility of those States that apply UCMs should be addressed. States have an obligation under international law not to give any effect/ recognition to other States’ wrongful acts; States must ensure that their sovereign rights and privileges as well as their international human rights obligations are not compromised as the result of their passive application of secondary sanctions imposed by foreign States. The EU`s Blocking Statute is one good example of necessary legislation to shield companies against secondary sanctions. However, this Statute has remained ineffective in the absence of essential political support to secure the companies from potential punishments," he added.

He further went on to stress that "the unilateral coercive measures are “illegality disguised as lawful”, as put by Ambassador of Fiji today, and we all need to speak up against this bold injustice."  

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