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Tehran Condemns US Human Rights Violations against Iranian People

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi reminded that the US unilateral sanctions against his country are the biggest case of human rights violations affecting the daily-life of his fellow nationals, and dismissed the State Department’s annual human rights report as politically motivated and biased.

“By imposing its unilateral, illegal and trans-regional sanctions on Iran, the US administration has spared no effort to violate the human rights of Iranian individuals,” Qassemi said in a statement released late on Thursday.

He dismisses the Iran section of the US administration’s annual “human rights” report as untrue and politically motivated, saying Washington has turned into the “biggest violator” of the Iranian people’s human rights by slapping the nation with unlawful economic sanctions.

He was referring to the so-called Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, in which the US State Department has once again leveled a host of accusations of rights abuses against the Islamic Republic.

Responding to the US rights claims, Qassemi said, “The issues mentioned in this report regarding the situation of human rights in our country are merely (based on) political, biased and untrue analyses of certain developments inside Iran, about which the US is not eligible to comment due to its indefensible and dark human rights record.”

The US report, which was released on March 13, claimed that Iran’s human rights record had “remained extremely poor and worsened in several key areas.” The report also singled out Washington’s other adversaries, including China, Russia and North Korea like in previous years.

The Iranian diplomat further blasted the White House for unleashing a campaign of economic pressure and sanctions against the Iranian nation and said, “The US administration has been the biggest violator of the Iranian nation’s human rights.”

The White House, he added, “has stopped short of no measure in breaching the rights of Iranians.”

Qassemi said the unilateral sanctions — which were reinstated after Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — run contrary to international law and court rulings as well as reports by independent human rights rapporteurs.

Qassemi further listed a number of Washington’s brazen human rights abuses in different corners of the world from the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories to the war-torn Yemen.

The US — which has been under fire from the public opinion, governments, activists and global institutions due to its own bleak record of rights abuses — is no position to point the finger of blame at any country, the official added.

Qassemi said while the US administration has a dark record of violating human rights inside and outside of America, in its annual report, it has pointed the finger at the human rights situation of other countries.

“The US administration, with its dark and unacceptable human rights record, is definitely not qualified enough to address human rights situation in Iran,” he noted.

The spokesman also underlined that through its unilateralism and certain policies and behaviors which stand in stark violation of international human rights standards as well as its disregard of international court rulings, the human rights reports of the UN rapporteurs and representatives, the US administration keeps resorting to bullying, arrogant and deceitful policies to pursue its politically-motivated goals and exert pressure on independent states to undermine their stability, security and development.

“Sooner or later, the US administration should be held accountable for its crimes,” he concluded.

Last Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet, released the text of a letter signed by 66 Scientific Societies for Medical Sciences in Iran who called on Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres to condemn the US sanctions on Iran.

“66 Scientific Societies for Medical Sciences in Iran call on int’l community to,” Zarif wrote, “condemn US sanctions on Iran”.

He added that the signatories to the letter also called on the international community to “strongly resist the targeting of medical needs & humanitarian aid.”

The Iranian diplomat highlighted that the letter writers have also urged the world to “thwart targeting of research & scientific advancement.”

Zarif mentions António Guterres as the one addressed in the letter.

Earlier in mid-November, Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh blasted the US for blocking Tehran’s banking ties with other countries, warning that such sanctions will mostly pressure the people of Iran by depriving them from needed drugs and food.

“In reaction to the International Court of Justice ruling and human rights protests at the sanctions against Iran, the Americans claim that the embargos do not include food and drugs but the reality is that a major part of pressures falls on the Iranian nation, specially in foodstuff and medicine areas,” Falahatpisheh said on Sunday.

He, meantime, said that more than 90% of medicine is produced inside the country, while “the rest is imported from foreign states, which have been much affected by sanctions”.

“When no banking interactions are made, practically there is no possibility for supplying medicine for the Iranians,” Falahatpisheh said.

In relevant remarks a week earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani referred to the US lies that the foodstuff, drugs and medical equipment are exempted from Washington’s sanctions against Iran, and said, “This is incorrect. When the banking system is sanctioned, everything is affected.”

Late in December, Managing-Director of Rare Diseases Foundation of Iran Hamid Reza Adraki took Washington responsible for the acute shortage of medicine needed for the treatment of rare diseases patients by imposing sanctions against the country.

“We have nearly one million patients who are grappling with some type of rare diseases in Iran,” Adraki said on Wednesday.

In relevant remarks in November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said American officials had admitted their incapability to stop Iran’s crude sales, and the US sanctions would only leave negative impacts on imports of foodstuff, medicine and medical equipment.

His remarks came days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an interview with the BBC Persian Service had claimed that the sanctions would leave no impacts on foodstuff and medicine needed for the Iranian people.

“I’m glad you mentioned medicine. None of the sanctions that have been imposed prevent humanitarian assistance and, indeed, there are big exemptions for medicine for sure, pharmaceuticals, but also more broadly than that for agricultural imports too so that the Iranian people have foodstuffs as well. We have provided, we have accommodated the Iranian people with our sanctions,” he claimed at the time.

After his remarks, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran Alireza Marandi said that the United States had endangered the lives of many Iranian patients by imposing “unjust” food and medicine sanctions against Tehran.

“Despite the illegality of sanctioning food and medicine, the US government is preventing access to these vital resources and has therefore put in danger the lives of many patients from small children to the elderly who are in urgent need of medicine and medical equipment,” Marandi said in a letter to Guterres in November.

He pointed to the clear detrimental effects of these sanctions on Iranian children suffering from cancer and said, “The US sanctions policy on the Islamic Republic of Iran has been devised in such a way that prevents all banking exchanges including access to essential medicines and medical equipment which are now virtually impossible.”

Marandi called on the UN to act against the US “incessant violation of human rights.”

“When will the lives of children, women and men across the globe be protected from the criminal behavior of the United States? Until when should cancer, organ transplant and other patients fear death because they are deliberately denied medicine and medical equipment?” he asked.

The Iranian academy official criticized the deafening silence of international human rights organizations, specially the United Nations, for their indifference to the suffering illegally imposed on the ordinary people of Iran.

“This indifference will further discredit the United Nations in the eyes of people around the world,” Marandi pointed out.

He urged the UN to take “immediate and serious measures” against the US “criminal actions which are in defiance of all international conventions and norms”.

“Unfortunately, the sanctions have indirectly affected the supply of drugs for these patients because we are facing problem in conducting financial transactions to supply the medicine needed for rare diseases,” he added.

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