US Sanctions Threatening Lives in COVID-19 Battle: Iranian Envoy

US Sanctions Threatening Lives in COVID-19 Battle: Iranian Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s representative in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly decried the harmful effects of the US sanctions on ordinary people, saying the cruel and illegal sanctions have endangered many lives amid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In an address to the 75th session of the Third Committee on Wednesday, Mohammad Zare’ian said the American sanctions have undermined the humanitarian goods and services, contrary to Washington’s claims.

Following is the full text of his remarks:

"In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Madam Chair,

I begin by expressing my congratulations to you on your election, and wish you success in leading the Committee.

Madam Chair,

Human rights should be seen as a common heritage of humanity, which have been initiated and developed by valuable contributions of all civilizations and cultures.

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s firm commitment to promotion and protection of human rights is deeply rooted in its rich civilization and religious teachings. Iranians enjoy equal rights irrespective of their color, race, language and such other features.

Despite more than four decades of unfair and unlawful external pressure, my Government has not only made significant progress in improving the human rights situation, but also has been obligated by the Constitution to exhaust its capacities in favor of guaranteeing legal protection for every person, secure the status of women and children; and guarantee freedom of speech, freedom for religious minorities to practice their religion as well as freedom of peaceful assembly and association. Everyone is afforded social, political, civil and economic rights on the same footing.

Madam Chair,

The United States' insistence on continuing --or even doubling down-- on its illegal sanctions policy is not only immoral and against international law, but also endangers the lives of many people fighting the coronavirus across the globe. Contrary to the US claims, humanitarian goods and services are affected by the cruel sanctions. Financial institutions fear the US vengeance, which is why the financial channels created to facilitate transactions for humanitarian commodities, have had no tangible results.

The inhumane unilateral coercive measures have blocked Iran’s efforts to import medicine and other medical supplies needed to fight the pandemic, thereby denying Iranians the right to health and to life. The unlawful sanctions have dealt a hefty blow to the very basic and fundamental rights of my people. And now, the ironic tragedy is that the US and its blind followers who confirm the unilateral coercive measures feel they can lecture us on human rights.

To them, the United States’ targeted assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General, Qassem Soleimani, who was a peace defender and a hero in the fight against terrorism is surprisingly not a human rights violation. Those who shed crocodile tears for the human rights situation in our region are the ones who have razed the entire region to the ground and turned it into the wasteland with their arms sales.

The people of Palestine, have --for a long time-- been forced to bid a bitter farewell to the realization of their very basic human rights. The occupying regime’s systematic oppression, blatant disregard of international law and rights violations go on unabated even during the current pandemic, grossly violating their right to health, and life.

In conclusion, Madam Chair, one may pose a question as to know why my country has been the target of a sustained disinformation and propaganda campaign. The answer is resistance and refusal of the Iranian nation which does not surrender to the whims of an outlaw bully. True that the United States’ knee-to-neck policy has deprived many of the right to breathe, but my people --throughout the history-- have proved that they will not buckle down under any pressure.

My Government, however, will remain committed to continue constructive cooperation with the United Nations mechanisms in a balanced and non-politicized manner.

Mechanisms such as Universal Periodic Review should further be strengthened as a workable solution and the sole mechanism which considers the human rights situation in all Member States equally, and on the same footing.

I thank you, Madam Chair."

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