UN rapporteur calls for an end to sanctions against Iran

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Alina Dohan’s report included findings from meetings with government, private sector and non-governmental organizations during her recent visit to Iran.

Tehran, Iran – A UN special envoy has called for the unilateral lifting of sanctions on Iran in a report that details the impact of decades of sanctions on the country.

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In the report published on Monday, Elena Doohan, whose role focuses on the negative consequences of the restrictions, said they have affected almost every aspect of life in the country, and called for their removal.

According to Dauhan, even drugs and food are considered exempt from sanctions, general licenses issued by the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) aimed at ensuring exemptions “appear to be ineffective and nearly non-existent.” “.

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She said the delivery of drugs and medical equipment to Iran was “severely vulnerable” to the effects of sanctions on finance, trade, shipping, insurance and over-compliance on the part of foreign businesses and suppliers.

“All of these are serious obstacles to the enjoyment of Iranians’ right to the highest attainable standard of health.”

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Sanctions have been imposed on Iran since 1979, when the Islamic Revolution took place in the country.

The overwhelming majority of the multiple layers of sanctions have been imposed by the United States, but others, including the European Union, Australia and Canada, also have a history of blacklisting Iran, the report noted.

Since 2018, when former US President Donald Trump unilaterally refused Iran’s UN-backed 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Washington has implemented a “maximum pressure” campaign of harsh sanctions that has been called for by President Joe Biden. has been expanded, even as efforts continue to restore. compromise.

The US has said its sanctions are a response to alleged Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons, its actions in the wider Middle East and repressive treatment against its citizens.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said on 7 September that while Iran’s nuclear program remains at the center of its dispute with the US, it is “not in a position to assure that Iran’s nuclear The program is exclusively peaceful”.

Tehran has said it is not, and that its nuclear program is focused on nuclear power, not weapons.

More recently, the US has imposed sanctions on Iranian companies for helping move Iranian drones to Russia for use in Ukraine, as well as accusing an Iranian ministry of involvement in a cyberattack on Albania, a The allegation which Iran has called baseless.

effect of sanctions

The report said Iran produces about 95 percent of its drugs and vaccines locally to mitigate the consequences of sanctions, but has had difficulty procuring raw materials and materials.

US sanctions have also led to the death of patients with rare diseases, as they blocked the supply of life-saving drugs and medical equipment needed to treat certain types of cancer, thalassemia, hemophilia, leukemia, multiple sclerosis and epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Have given. ,

Citing data from the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, the report suggests that US sanctions since 2018 have put the country’s food security at risk by disrupting the supply of at least 10 million tonnes of agricultural imports, which are “food stocks”. a clear infringement of the right”. accessibility and adequacy”.

The report also focused on the impact of sanctions on Iranians’ ability to buy food.

Massive inflation – currently around 40 percent – ​​and currency devaluation mean that food prices are contributing to a huge increase in household costs.

“Food insecurity rates among the population have risen, reaching 60 percent in some areas,” it said, noting that the cost of the average food basket increased more than 3.4 times between 2018 and 2022.

The report also noted that annual gross domestic product (GDP) declined by an average of 1.7 percent between 2011 and 2015, as restrictions intensified. This increased to a record 13.6 percent in 2016 after the nuclear deal went into effect and 3.7 percent the following year, but decreased by 6 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, in the two years when new US sanctions were imposed.

Significantly, reports suggest that Iran is home to more than 5 million immigrants and refugees, many of whom are in dire need of humanitarian aid.

It argues that the sanctions have “adversely affected the ability of the government and humanitarian actors to implement projects, including the provision of basic goods, and the construction of schools and health centres”.

Credit: www.aljazeera.com /

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