OPINION

Coronavirus outbreak: A retest for US human rights claims

The spread of the deadly coronavirus across the most parts of the globe has forced the government and people of different countries to redouble their efforts to bridle this killer virus. The governments are trying to allocate special funds not only for controlling this virus but also for limiting the economic losses resulting from the viral outbreak. 

Unfortunately, Iran is one of the countries where most of the deaths resulting from Coronavirus have been reported so far.  The government and the defence forces of the country are struggling round the clock to control the virus. But here, in this case, there exists a big difference between my nation’s efforts and those of the other nations across the globe, and this difference is that the Iranian nation is suffering pain under the hardest and the most dastardly act of economic and medical terrorism of the history which has been imposed illegally since May 2018 by the United States of America in violation of the UN Security Council Resolution No.2231.

Although Iran’s medical equipment, medics, paramedics, nurses and other health experts are among the best in the world, but their efforts for diagnosis and treatment of the virus affected people , controlling  the outbreak and ultimately defeating the virus has hit a barrier laid down by the Trump administration. In this circumstance , the nation will not only have to fight against coronavirus but also against the government which contrary to its huge ( read : hollow ) claims about human rights, does not give even a little importance to the  primary principle of human right including the right to health and safety.

Despite being confident that my Pakistani brothers and sisters are fully aware of the oppressive behavior of the Trump administration, here I want to point out the two dimensions of this tyranny for bringing it into record. 

The first dimension of the illegal sanctions imposed by the Trump administration has made it extremely hard and limited for Iran to export oil and goods, earn foreign exchange through these exports and import various items needed by the country. This limitation has resulted into weakening of the public and private sectors who are responsible for provision of medical goods and services and cure for the people of Iran. This restriction has badly curtailed my country‘s potential towards ensuring the basis for the survival of its people, and certainly it completely contradicts the basic principle of the human rights. 

The second dimension of the illegal US sanctions has made it almost impossible for the Iranian companies to import medical equipment, and even if a foreign company is ready to sell goods to Iran needed by it and we are ready to pay its cost through our assets lying abroad, still the US sanctions on transportation, insurance and banking transactions make such trades impossible for the two sides. This cruel act, that too in this hard and critical situation, is an open violation of all humanitarian principles and is definitely a crime against humanity; a crime that in the future may befall all freedom- seeking nations across the globe. 

The failure of the Trump administration in the human rights court becomes clearer when we come to know that he has openly hijacked the shipment of medicines for the people of Iran and has made it conditional to fulfillment of his multiple illegal and unjust demands. It shows that the Trump administration has embarked upon the policy of punishing the whole of the Iranian people, which is evident from what the foreign minister of that country said: “If the Iranians want not to stay hungry, their government must surrender to our orders”. 

Here, it is interesting to note that a government which is the main obstacle in the Iranian people’s fight against the coronavirus and is mainly responsible for weakening the financial and mobilizing potential of my country for saving the lives of its people, even preaches us on defeating the virus, while practically, at the same time, it continues with its sabotaging activities and its maximum pressure campaign against my country. 

In the light of the above facts, the US government in order to save itself from becoming more hated in the court of the world conscience and in the eyes of my dear Pakistani brothers and sisters, need to immediately stop its economic and medical terrorism against the Iranian people and remove all the sanctions which have been imposed illegally on my country in open violation of the UN Security Council Resolution No.2231. I also want from all the countries of the world that they not only do not follow the unilateral sanctions contradictory to the said UN resolution, but also raise their voice against this approach of the Trump administration. 

In the end, while wishing success for the government and people of Pakistan including the province of Sindh in quickly controlling the coronavirus, I would like to announce that my country, notwithstanding all the US cruel restrictions and pressure, is ready like ever before to cooperate with all of the Muslim nations. I hope, all the people of the world including the people of America would be able to defeat the deadly contagion very soon and return to their normal life. 

Ling live Iran – Pakistan friendship   and fraternity 

By H.E. Ahmad Mohammadi
Consul General of the Islamic  Republic of Iran-Karachi

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