Our Beacon Forum

The Corona-hit Iran under cruel sanctions
By:Salma Afindi, Karachi
Date: Monday, 23 March 2020, 12:26 am

US is unlikely to listen to Imran Khan’s Call to lift sanctions on Iran to fight corona

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on the United States to lift “sanctions on Iran” to help fight the deadly coronavirus which is devastating this sanctions hit country.

Iran is one of the worst affected countries due to corona virus. As at March 21 there were 20.160 cases, 1556 deaths and 7635 recovered. Crippled by the inhuman sanctions Iran is struggling hard to fight corona virus.

In a Twitter post, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called for the lifting of the sanctions on human grounds so that it can “use its resources to save precious human lives. The entire global community is facing an unprecedented pandemic. Sanctions must be lifted against Iran, in this moment of perils, so that it can use its resources to save precious human lives,” he said.

Iran’s economy was battered after Trump withdrew the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, a multilateral nuclear deal), re imposing severe sanctions that curb oil and gas exports on which the government in Tehran is heavily dependent for revenues. Iran’s economy was badly affected for several years by sanctions imposed by the international community over the country’s nuclear program.

In 2015, President Hassan Rouhani agreed a deal with the US and five other world powers to limit Iranian nuclear activities in return for the lifting of those sanctions.

Calling on the US to lift its sanctions, an indirect form of genocide, Prime Minister Imran Khan said it is essential for Iran to focus on winning the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. It is very unjust they are dealing with such a large outbreak on one side, and on the other they are facing international sanctions”.

His statement followed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan requesting him to play a role to help lift the grinding sanctions that, according to Tehran, has badly hampered its fight against coronavirus.

Arif Rafiq, president of Vizier Consulting, a New York-based political risk advisory company, told Al Jazeera: “It is almost certain that Washington will ignore Khan’s advice on lifting the sanctions on Iran.

The US and European policy towards Iran has been sheer hypocrisy .They wanted Iran to toe their line to suit Israeli agenda in the same way Arab tyrants in the Middle East who sold their souls and their countries and shamelessly follow their US-European and Israeli masters.

“The U.S. has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, Russia has about the same, Britain and France had several hundred. Israel, having one of the most sophisticated nuclear arsenals in the world, refused to sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, NPT, which seeks to limit the spread of such weapons of mass destruction.

Israel maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity and the tacit agreement prolonged the nuclear understanding reached between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1969.

Saying what all the world leaders wanted to say Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned Western countries’ focus on Iran’s nuclear program and stressed that the world should deal with Israel’s nuclear weapons that used “phosphorous bombs” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

What is the reason for this double standard? Why are world leaders so reluctant to open Israel’s nuclear arsenal up to discussion, whereas Iran’s ambiguous ambitions are occupying the floor in the UN?

Israel has the backing of the strongest lobbying groups in the US and the European capitals. It has the advantage of using the media to create a favorable image of itself and an abhorrent image of Iran and other “enemies” of Israel. It has the advantage of the “Holocaust shame” of the Western world. It has the pretext of being able to claim “existential threat.”

Iran, as one of the original signatories of the NPT, has been a consistent advocate of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. In contrast, Israel has never agreed to an IAEA inspection, and its nuclear weapons plant at Dimona remains an open secret. Israel “deplores” UN resolutions calling on it to sign the NPT, just as it deplored the recent UN report charging it with crimes against humanity in Gaza. Just as it maintains a world record for violations of international law, it gets away with this because the powers that be grants it immunity.

The atmosphere is somewhere similar to the time in 2001 when the US led west unleashed a fierce campaign to justify the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, an almost developed country that was turned into a wasteland and slaughtered millions of Iraqis.

Western media, integral part of the Western war machine, manufactured lies to mislead the world. They are doing the same thing to justify their designs on Iran, the only country in the region that refused to bow down to the dictates of the unholy Anglo-American –Israeli war mongers and Saudi-Abu Dhabi and the Gulf collaborators.

The media screamed with head lines such as “Showdown looms with Iran over secret nuclear plant”. “The clock ticking”, “Good versus evil”, “Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq”, “Iranian plan to wage war on, and defeat, US forces in Iraq” by September of that year – a demonstrable falsehood for which there has been no retraction.

The weapons Industry remains an integral part of the US, UK, France and Israel. They need wars, death and destruction to ensure the weapons industry flourishes. Politicians implement the evil designs of the weapons industry and the Western media manufacture lies to justify wars.

The name of the game remains the same- toe the line or face destruction.

The goal is to control the “strategic prize” of the gas and oilfields of the Caspian Sea, central Asia, the Gulf and Iran – in other words, Eurasia. Innocent people all over the world pay the price with their flesh, bloods, lives and their natural resources.