In an interview with the English-language newspaper ˈIran Dailyˈ, published Sunday, Mostafa Alaei, head of the Foreign Ministry’s human rights department, said that the sanctions imposed by the UN and the US and its allies on Iran over its nuclear energy program has negatively affected people’s life.
Alaei added that the Islamic Republic has taken various measures to “break the regime of cruel sanctions” and “create an international mechanism” in order to regulate the issue of sanctions in today’s world.
He said any decision to impose sanctions on other countries should be taken by the UN Security Council or at the high body’s request and within a comprehensive framework.
The MP said that sections slapped by other parties are illegal, noting that even UNSC’s embargoes should be aimed at preserving international peace and security or else they are illegal.
Alaei said, unfortunately UNSC members’ political interests usually have an impact on decisions taken by the body.
“Moreover, regulations under which sanctions are imposed sometimes can discredit legal and political legitimacy of sanctions,” he said.
The official said UNSC decisions must not violate the principles of international law nor must they target the daily life of ordinary people. “If so, they lack legitimacy,” he said.
He added that UNSC decisions about sanctions must be in line with the United Nations human rights principles.
“We see some sanctions by the UNSC, especially on Iraq and Iran, are in violation of human rights,” the official said.
Alaei said a reduction in standard of living and social security criteria including health, medicine, and food are among the most significant consequences of sanctions on these two countries.
“UN figures indicate that between 5,000 to 7,000 children lost their lives in Iraq from malnutrition and waterborne diseases,” the official pointed out.
He noted that Iraq sanctions have increased the rate of brain drain and harm education and research institutes since they came into effect in 1990 until 2013.
“A UNICEF report showed that 55 percent Iraqi women aged between 15 to 49 remained illiterate due to sanctions,” Alaei said.
He also said low incomes even forced some women into prostitution.
Alaei noted sanctions have destroyed development plans in certain countries. “US sanctions on Cuba, based on data provided by Cuban officials, have caused more than $110 billion in losses in the country’s development”.
Alaei further stressed that such examples indicate that sanctions can cause serious harms to innocent people. “We can say that UNSC sanctions sometimes are cruel and politically-motivated.”
The official went on to say that the lack of a fair and impartial system for assessing sanctions from perspective of international law and human rights are among the most significant challenges of international sanctions regimes.
“That’s why the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights highlights the need to set up an evaluation system to control sanctions in order to protect human rights.”
Alaei added that the UN committee is set to establish a fair supervisory body in order to regulate and evaluate sanctions regimes.
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