While the United States
and European Union are vehemently competing with each other in the seemingly
endless race of imposing sanctions on Iran, the ordinary Iranian citizens
are experiencing the most breathtaking, agonizing impacts of the crippling
On July 31, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sent
a letter to all members of the U.S. Congress, demanding a concerted
action to approve The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act
which imposes a new set of sanctions on Iran's energy and transportation
On August 1, the media reported that the Congress has ratified the bill
and it's waiting
to be signed by the president.
Iran is already under 6 rounds of sanctions endorsed by the United
Nations Security Council. The sanctions are purportedly aimed at
preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The UNSC sanctions stipulate a freezing of Iran's international assets,
the closure of branches of Iranian banks in other countries, barring
the export of nuclear and military facilities to Iran, a ban on investment
in Iran's oil, gas and Petrochemistry sector, business dealings with
the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, banking and insurance transactions
and traveling restrictions for high-ranking governmental and military
The United States, Israel and EU countries have long accused Iran of
trying to build nuclear bombs, a charge which Iran has persistently
and categorically denied. Iran says that it needs civilian nuclear power
to meet its growing energy needs, especially since Iran is a country
mostly reliant on fossil fuels for its energy demands and oil revenues
to keep its economy alive. The United States and its allies, in response,
have penalized Iran with excruciating economic sanctions to derail the
possible chances of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
On January 23, 2012, the European Union foreign ministers agreed upon
imposing a multilateral oil embargo against Iran. The oil embargo which
bans the European countries from buying crude from Iran went
into effect on July 1.
What the Western officials say in public is that the sanctions are aimed
at punishing the Iranian government and dissuading it from working toward
acquiring nuclear weapons. What takes place in reality, however, is
that the "smart" sanctions have directly come down like a ton of bricks
on the Iranian people, making their life an arduous odyssey of struggling
for survival in an ailing economy.
The sanctions have devastated the daily life of ordinary Iranian people
by bringing the price of goods to a skyrocketing height, making the
students abroad unable to get financial assistance from their parents
in Iran, rendering it impossible for the private companies to do international
transactions and making it extremely difficult for Iranians to get visa
for traveling to foreign countries. The " smart
sanctions" even include a ban on the importing of medicine and foodstuff
from the other nations to Iran.
In the previous weeks, I have been arguing with my editors in some of
the American political journals to convince them that certain sensitive
medicines as well as agricultural goods could not make their way to
Iran as a result of sanctions. They wouldn't accept, telling me that
such transactions were smoothly taking place. But now, I think they
have credible evidence available, confirming that the hard-hitting sanctions
are destroying the daily life of the poor, defenseless Iranians who
should pay the price for the West's and Israel's animosity with their
On May 6, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty quoted
Iran's reformist daily Shargh as writing that the exportation of a great
deal of vital medicines to Iran has been banned as a result of the sanctions.
These medicines which Iran is not capable of producing include drugs
for the treatment of cancer, heart and breathing problems, thalassemia,
and multiple sclerosis.
Hamid Reza Emadi, an Iran-based political commentator also confirms
that the latest round of sanctions imposed on Iran just a few days ago
directly affect the lives of average Iranians who have nothing to do
with the country's nuclear program. "This latest move by the U.S. Congress
shows the extent to which Washington has become frustrated and now it
is going to step up their pressure on Iranian civilians by preventing
the country from importing agricultural products… Iran is a grain importer
and the U.S. knows that and by creating obstacles in the way of grain
exports to Iran, the U.S. is clearly committing crimes against humanity
because it only affects ordinary Iranians who have got nothing to do
with the country’s nuclear energy program," Emadi said in
an interview with Press TV.
"Do not forget that it is not just agricultural products; the U.S. is
putting maximum pressure on international banks doing business with
Iran, therefore Iranian medical companies cannot import some vital medicines,"
The board of directors of the Iranian Hemophilia Society has informed
the World Federation of Hemophilia that the lives of tens of thousands
of children are being endangered by the lack of proper drugs, a consequence
of international economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Ron Paul, a Texas Congressman has called the recent sanctions an
"act of war," saying that the bill had better be named "Obsession with
Iran Act 2012."
“When you put on sanctions on a country, it’s an act of war and that’s
what this is all about,” he said.
Some anti-war advocacy groups and organizations in the United States
such as Veterans for Peace and Friends Committee on National Legislation
have called on the U.S. government to put an end to its sanctions game
with Iran which is seen by these groups a total declaration of war against
Iran; however, it seems that these pro-peace groups will face a tough
job to have their voice heard by the U.S. Congressmen and people in
the White House who seem to be hell bent on delivering a lethal blow
"Veterans for Peace" has just released
a statement, saying that sanctions and threats of military strike
are not viable and logical solutions to the nuclear crisis with Iran.
"The United States, European Union and Israel are using Iran's civilian
nuclear program as an excuse to impose devastating economic sanctions
against the people of Iran. According to various sources, the sanctions
have already wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy, leading to inflation
rates of 50 to 100 percent, youth unemployment rate of over 22 percent,
drastic reduction of Iran's domestic production to 40 percent of its
capacity, massive closure of economic enterprises and widespread layoffs,
and 40 percent drop in the Iranian oil exports during 2012, resulting
in a loss of $32 billion in oil income since last year alone," the statement
The group has called for a nuclear free Middle East in an apparent allusion
to Israel's nuclear arsenal. Along with India and Pakistan, Israel is
the only country in the world which is not a signatory to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. By the late 1990s the U.S. Intelligence Community estimated
that Israel possessed between 75-130 weapons, based on production estimates.
When all's said and done, Iran is currently experiencing difficult times,
and its people are under mounting pressure in their daily affairs. Iran's
economy is on the brink of bankruptcy as a result of the biting economic
sanctions and the international community is calmly and silently witnessing
the painful suffering of the Iranian people. The anti-Iranian sanctions
clearly run counter to the principles of human rights, but it seems
that those who advocate such values don't believe that Iranians are
also "humans" who might perchance have some "rights" including the right
of access to medicine, foodstuff, employment and above all, respect
and human dignity.