The Inhumane and Monstrous Economic War on Iran
The Trump administration isn’t lifting sanctions on Iran in the middle of the pandemic. Instead, they have opted to intensify the economic war to inflict even more suffering on the Iranian people. Pompeo released this statement today:
Our sanctions will deprive the regime of critical income from its petrochemical industry and further Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation. The United States will continue to fully enforce our sanctions.
Depriving Iran’s government of “critical income” will inevitably harm the population. Reducing Iran’s revenues means that there will be fewer resources available for the kinds of emergency spending measures that governments everywhere are using to stave off the worst economic effects of the pandemic. Continuing to enforce the existing sanctions prevents Iranians from obtaining essential food and medicines. Sanctions have always been an attack on the Iranian people, and continuing that attack at a time like this is inhumane and monstrous.
To have sanctions on a country dealing w a pandemic & public health crisis of this magnitude is cruel & criminal. I know cruelty is the point of much of the Trump administration, but we have to be willing to draw some lines as people re what we’re willing to accept in our name. https://t.co/G9YqdgAp9R
— Narges Bajoghli (@nargesbajoghli) March 17, 2020
Starving Iran of revenues and strangling their economy sabotage efforts to bring the outbreak under control:
Tehran mayor @pirouzhanachi: "In a normal situation and a good economy, we could have imposed a lockdown. But what comes next, like providing necessary goods or compensating for losses across Iran, is not possible, so a complete lockdown cannot be done."https://t.co/bcjYevPAUG
— Esfandyar Batmanghelidj (@yarbatman) March 18, 2020
A worst-case scenario analysis estimated that more than three million Iranians might die from the outbreak. There is no question that the Iranian government’s incompetence and mismanagement have greatly exacerbated the problem, but the sanctions have severely compromised Iran’s ability to cope with the pandemic and they continue to do so every day that they are in effect. Keeping sanctions in place under the circumstances means deliberately contributing to the preventable deaths of many thousands of innocent people. If things get truly out of control, the death toll could be staggering.
Mehdi Hasan comments on the economic war that the U.S. has been waging on the Iranian people:
The unilateral reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran in 2018 was a clear violation of international law, according to the International Court of Justice. It was not mandated by the U.N. Security Council, and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the effect of sanctions on human rights has since slammed the Trump administration’s “illegal and immoral forms of coercion,” calling it an “economic attack” on the Iranian people.
Of course, an attack on the Islamic Republic is what the hawks in Washington have always craved. On Sunday, Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton was once again agitating for a new war with Iran. Meanwhile, Bolton’s former colleagues over at the neoconservative pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran, as Eli Clifton revealed, have been “urging major pharmaceutical companies to ‘end their Iran business,’ focusing on companies with special licenses — most often under a broadly defined ‘humanitarian exemption’ — to conduct trade with Iran.”
There is only one word to describe such behavior: sociopathic.
Everyone that follows this issue understands that this makes a mockery of the administration’s professed support for the people:
The admin has said that US sanctions aren’t designed to hurt average Iranians, just the regime.
The coronavirus is the test. If the admin doesn’t adjust its policy to cater to the global fight against a pandemic, it’s either saying it either doesn’t care or wants to hurt them.
— Ariane Tabatabai (@ArianeTabatabai) March 18, 2020
It always rang hollow when the Trump administration said they supported the Iranian people while economically strangling them.
The fact that they persist in this policy while Iran is facing a public health catastrophe really drives the point home though. https://t.co/S8Cxi0lF4A
— Nicholas Miller (@Nick_L_Miller) March 18, 2020
Our government is committing an outrageous injustice against tens of millions of innocent people, and the economic war will be responsible for killing many thousands and possibly more than that. Basic decency and humanity demand that the U.S. grant the Iranian people relief from the cruel collective punishment that our government has subjected them to for the last two years. The Iranian people will remember how we chose to treat them at this moment. When they were gasping for breath and in grave need of assistance, the U.S. instead kept trying to choke the life out of them.