The hand that spurs
The US sanctions against Iran are harming vulnerable sections of the country's population and are designed to serve Israeli interests in the region, writes Ismail Salami in Tehran
The illegal oil embargoes against Iran have begun to take effect; a precocious smile of satisfaction had broken out upon the face of Zionism; and the US has once again proved its lapdog fidelity to the Zionist regime. That is not all, however. Israel craves more, and Washington has had no choice but to cater to the demands of a decadent and colonising regime.
A report carried by Reuters recently entitled "Iranians feel the pain as West tightens sanctions" detailed the "financial and social woes" exacerbated by these sanctions in Iran, producing a fake and larger-than-life picture of the woes suffered by Iranian society in the face of the sanctions. That the oil sanctions are having a detrimental effect on the financial health of Iranian society is a bitter reality that should bring shame to Washington, seen by pundits and laymen alike as making Herculean efforts to hamper the progress of the Islamic Republic by targeting the Iranian public.
Yet, the Reuters report fell short of mentioning the group most brutally affected by these sanctions. There are more than 50 types of badly needed medicine for people suffering from diseases such as cancer, thalassemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and respiratory and heart diseases. The drastically declining imports of such medicines into Iran, caused by the US-engineered sanctions on Iran's banking sector, have reached a critical point. The rise in the US dollar against the rial has further complicated the issue, doubling or tripling the price of medicines. Those suffering from such diseases in Iran are mostly unable to access badly needed medicines, or, if they are able to access them, they have to pay very high prices.
These facts do not worry Washington in the least, as these are human issues and human issues do not appear to concern the US government. However, Washington's vitriolic animosity towards Iran is nothing new, and the fact that the US wishes to cripple the country's economy at the behest of the Zionist regime is no secret to anyone. The sanctions are counter to international law, and they could be found to be such in an international court were it not for the influence that Washington and the Zionists exercise in the world as a whole.
Nevertheless, Iran is considering taking legal action at the International Court of Justice against the US-led sanctions. Mohamed Nahavandian, the president of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, raised the issue during a recent session of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the members of which slammed the US-engineered and EU sanctions against Iran as illegal.
According to Nahavandian, "the members [of the ICC] asserted that the unilateral sanctions are in contradiction to the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce and also against the international free-trade framework." The issue should now be pursued vehemently, as the ICC members agreed that if Iran were to take legal action at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Court would find against the sanctions.
Two rounds of talks have recently taken place between the P5+1 group of countries and Iran, with no practical steps emerging from either of them. Just prior to the first round of talks between the six world powers and Iran in Baghdad on 23 May, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the demands on Iran were clear: stop enriching uranium; destroy already enriched uranium; and close the underground Fordow nuclear facility near Qom. Interestingly, these three demands were then placed high on the agenda of the multifaceted talks in Baghdad by the Americans, who had received their nuclear lessons from the Zionist regime.
There are two subtle points in these demands which need to be put under critical scrutiny. First, it is clear that these demands were enunciated by the American party in the full knowledge that the Islamic Republic would never give in to such terms. Iran will never stop enriching uranium; Iran will never close the Fordow nuclear facility; and Iran will never ship out the already enriched uranium on which the Islamic Republic has expended so much money and energy. Why, then, does the American party broach such issues when it already knows the answer to them?
As Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh said in an interview with Reuters at the time, Iran will not suspend uranium enrichment, and it sees no reason to close the Fordow nuclear site. "Iran will not close the underground nuclear site as the country sees no justification in doing so. Fordow is a safe place. We have spent a lot of money and time to have a safe placeāê¦ When you have a safe, secure place under IAEA control, why do you tell me that I should close it," Soltanieh asked.
In the same interview, the ambassador said that "one thing is clear: the enrichment in Iran will never be suspended. Neither sanctions, nor military actions, nor the assassinations of our scientists will stop the enrichment," he said
If the Americans already know the answers to their demands, why do they reiterate them? The answer is that the US is seeking to capitalise on the international community's ignorance of Iran's nuclear energy programme and is trying to depict Iran in a negative light in order to push ahead with its own diabolical goals of slaking the US thirst for invasion and beefing up US military muscle in the region.
The sanctions against Iran are contrary to justice. They are a tacit declaration of war and a brutal way of trying to break down the will of a determined nation that refuses to bow down before Washington's imperialist designs or capitulate to the thieving Zionist regime which has already stolen the dreams of one nation.
The writer is an Iranian Middle East expert.