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US sanctions on Venezuelan oil ‘violation of human rights’: Iran

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has censured as a violation of human rights and international law the US administration’s re-imposition of oil-related sanctions against Venezuela.

Nasser Kana’ani said on Saturday that the use of unilateral illegal sanctions as a tool that causes irreparable human and economic damage to countries is rejected as a violation of the principles of international law, human rights and international rules and regulations.

The administration of US President Joe Biden announced its decision on Wednesday not to extend a license that was due to expire on April 18, which provided relief from oil sanctions on Caracas, over what it claimed to be the Venezuelan government’s failure to adhere to democratic principles ahead of elections in July.

In October last year, the US decided to temporarily lift certain sanctions following an agreement between President Nicolas Maduro’s government and the opposition in Barbados.

The US-backed agreement stipulated that a transparent election would be held in 2024, closely monitored by international observers.

However, Venezuela’s Supreme Court upheld a 15-year ban on opposition leader Maria Corina Machado and also confirmed the ineligibility of her possible replacement, two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

Venezuela possesses the largest confirmed oil reserves globally. However, production has drastically declined due to years of severe sanctions by the West.

The US imposed harsh sanctions on Venezuela to punish Maduro’s government following his 2018 re-election, which the US and other Western governments refused to recognize.

Since 2019, US sanctions have banned state-run oil company PDVSA from exporting to its chosen markets.

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