U.S. Imperialists' Utter
Contempt for Human Life
U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran
On March 17, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
announced further sanctions on Iran amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The
sanctions are ostensibly in response to March 12 rocket attacks in
Taji, Iraq, that killed two members of the U.S. occupation forces, for
which it claims Iran is responsible. According to a statement by
Pompeo, the sanctions target entities and individuals mostly related to
Iran's petrochemical industry that "provide revenue to the regime that
it may use to fund terror and other destabilizing activities." These
include five companies based in the United Arab Emirates, three
companies in China, three in Hong Kong and one in South Africa.
Minister Javad Zarif denounced the new sanctions as taking the U.S.
policy of putting "maximum pressure" on Iran to a "new level of
inhumanity." In a tweet, he condemned the Trump administration for
"gleefully" taking pride in "killing Iranian citizens" on Nowruz, the
Persian New Year, celebrated on March 20 this year. He further decried
the U.S. policy for its "utter contempt for human life."
"Washington's increased pressure against Iran is a
crime against humanity [...] all the world should help each other to
overcome this disease," Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying on
March 20. The course of the pandemic shows that the U.S. sanctions not
only endanger the people of Iran, but the peoples of the world, as the
coronavirus does not respect borders and the pandemic can only be
overcome if all countries and peoples unite, share resources,
experiences and work collectively based on a spirit of mutual benefit
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on March 20
that the U.S. sanctions were not directed at medication or humanitarian
assistance going into Iran. This is a sophistic claim to absolve the
U.S. imperialists of their criminality -- namely that U.S. financial
sanctions have prevented Iran from buying the necessary supplies to
combat the pandemic and shipping sanctions have interfered with
China has called on the U.S. to offer sanctions
relief to Iran, with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Beijing
tweeting on March 17 that the sanctions are "against humanitarianism
and hampers Iran's epidemic response," as well as deliveries of aid by
the UN and other organizations. In sharp contrast to the U.S.
sanctions, China has sent a team of experts to assist Iran to fight
COVID-19. It has also sent humanitarian aid, as have other countries.
Iran is one of the countries in the world hardest
hit by COVID-19, and the hardest hit in the Middle East. As of March
20, Iran has seen at least 1,433 deaths from COVID-19, with
19,644 confirmed cases. A spokesperson from the Iranian Health Ministry
said on March 17 that one person in Iran was dying "every 10 minutes"
from the virus, with new infections increasing at a rate of 50 per hour.
This article was published in
Volume 50 Number 9 - March 21, 2020
U.S. Imperialists' Utter
Contempt for Human Life: U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran