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‘US’ unilateral coercive measures against Iranians violate int’l law, human rights’

The top Iranian rights official has blasted the US and its allies for their unilateral coercive measures (UCM) against Iranians, saying the measures violate the basic principles of international law, the UN Charter as well as fundamental human rights.

“Unilateral coercive measures are in flagrant contradiction with the principle of the rule of law,” Secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights Kazem Gharibabadi said at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

He underlined the need for the establishment of effective mechanisms in order to hold the sanctioning states to account, stressing that the step must be an integral part of any appeal and legal discourse on the negative impacts of sanctions.

“How come certain states, which are always pretending to support the human rights of Iranians, have the face to encroach upon the rights of Iranians on a large scale by imposing and supporting cruel sanctions or remaining silent about them?” the official went on to question.

Gharibabadi stressed that it was an absolute necessity to establish a conceptual framework for a compensation and grievance mechanism in order to make reparations to the victims of human rights violations as a result of sanctions.

He underlined that significant attention should be paid to the impacts of unlawful unilateral coercive measures.

In the same meeting, Alena Douhan, UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on human rights, said the proliferation of secondary sanctions has resulted in a growing fear of sanctions and over-compliance with unilateral sanction regimes, leading to serious adverse effects on the human rights of millions of people around the world.

“Today the world faces a proliferation of secondary sanctions, applied extraterritorially to states, entities or individuals for their presumed cooperation or association with sanctioned parties,” said Douhan.

Earlier this week, she released the final report of her visit to Iran, criticizing unilateral sanctions imposed on the country, calling for the removal of unilateral coercive measures (UCMs), and asking the world body to come up with mechanisms of compensation for victims of such measures.

Douhan paid an 11-day visit to Iran in May, meeting with the country’s human rights officials and members of nongovernmental organizations.

She said at that time that her visit was aimed at gathering information on the impact of sanctions in order to hold countries imposing such unilateral measures to account.

At the end of her visit, Douhan held a presser in Tehran, slamming the United States for its brutal sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic, asserting that the harsh economic sanctions have had a damaging impact on human rights in the country.

She noted that decades of sanctions have wholly affected Iranian people’s lives and have particularly hit the low-income section of the society.

Back in May 2018, the US began to unilaterally impose sanctions against Iran after former President Donald Trump’s administration abandoned the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and launched what it called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran at the time, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” sanctions.

Although Trump failed to reach its professed goals with his maximum pressure campaign, the bans have badly hurt the Iranian population.

Washington has insisted that sanctions on Iran do not affect the trade of humanitarian items and food. However, strict bans on banking transactions involving Iran have made it impossible for the country to access critically needed medicine and medical equipment over the past years.

Iranian authorities say the United States has been bullying companies in Europe and other parts of the world to make them stop trading with Iran.

The issue became more acute during the spread of the coroanvirus in Iran in 2020 when the country was forced to delay a nationwide vaccination program against the disease because sanctions made it impossible to pay for vaccine supplies ordered from other countries.

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