Visit Red Revolution Media's online store for all your socialist, progressive and protest fashions. From t-shirts to cushions, there's something for everyone!

Advertisement

Despite One of World’s Worst Outbreaks of Deadly Virus, US Hits Iran With ‘Brutal’ New Sanctions

“How evil and heartless can this government get?” peace activist Medea Benjamin asked Wednesday after the State Department announced it would impose new sanctions on Iran as the country faces one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world.

The move by the U.S. government flew in the face of demands from advocacy groups and the Iranian government to suspend sanctions to ensure Iranians can access life-saving medication and supplies.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. will introduce fresh sanctions on nine entities and three individuals who the U.S. says provide the Iranian government with revenue, in order to “deprive the regime of critical income from its petrochemical industry and further Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation.”

The move follows rocket attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, which the Trump administration claims were linked to Iran-backed forces.

Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war group CODEPINK, called the State Department’s move “unconscionable.”

“Pure evil,” wrote journalist Ben Norton. “This is Nazi behavior.”

Iran is one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 17,300 people had tested positive for the respiratory disease at press time, and more than 1,100 have died. 

Under normal circumstances, U.S. sanctions on Iran—which were last strengthened last year—have kept people in the country from accessing medication as well as raising prices on food and rent. 

As Iran faces the coronavirus outbreak, however, the impacts of the sanctions have been heightened, as Iran is left without sufficient testing kits, ventilators, antiviral medicine, and other life-saving supplies.

As the death toll in Iran rose Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted that the U.S. “should not be contributing to this humanitarian disaster.”

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the United States’ refusal to lift sanctions “medical terrorism,” as CODEPINK called on European countries to disregard the sanctions.

The imposition of fresh sanctions as the country battles the outbreak amounts to the U.S. “literally weaponizing the coronavirus,” said human rights lawyer Arjun Sethi.

Assal Rad, research fellow at the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), said the new sanctions would make the U.S. “complicit” in the deaths of an untold number of Iranians, while Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute accused the Trump administration of “inhumanity.”

Benjamin called on Americans to loudly reject the new sanctions, circulating a petition on social media.

“Are we, the American people, really going to stand by and watch as the U.S. administration makes it more and more difficult for Iranians to—literally—breathe?” Benjamin wrote. “Adding even more sanctions today is immoral and wicked.”

Advertisement


SUPPORT RED REVOLUTION MEDIA


This website is not sponsored or endorsed by big business, corporations or billionaire oligarchs, we have no resources and no backing. We rely on you to keep going.


Our monthly expenses include hosting services, specialist website subscriptions and services, photo media subscriptions, newswire services, and marketing. We currently are unable to issue any payment to writers.


It is our hope that we will one day be able to be a people funded and maintained service who are uniquely positioned to give a voice to the voiceless without any influence from corporatism.


If you value our articles please consider a donation to ensure the continuation of our work. Thank you.


DONATE

 


SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media to get the latest news, updates from Red Revolution Media.
You can unsubscribe at any time

Advertisement

Common Dreams

This article is republished from Common Dreams under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.