WHO defunding 'not surprising' for those familiar with US’ unilateralism: expert

TEHRAN, Apr. 17 (MNA) – A US academic believes that Trump’s controversial decision to halt the World Health Organization funds is a continuation of the regime’s unilateralism in the international arena.

US President Donald Trump has announced that Washington would stop funding WHO, accusing the body of mismanaging and covering-up of the spread of the COVID-19 across the globe.

The abrupt decision received widespread backlash from across the world where officials and activists voiced concern over the defunding amid the global fight against a pandemic.  

In an exclusive interview with Mehr News Agency, Professor David Yagoubian noted that Trump’s measure “should not surprise anyone who has been following the steady path of unilateralism and belligerence that the Trump regime has pursued since its unfortunate inception."

Here is the full text of the interview with David Yaghoubian, professor of history at California State University San Bernardino:

US President Donald Trump yet again implemented another unilateral measure by halting WHO funds. What do you think is his main aim?

 In my view Trump’s move to cut funding for the WHO is an effort to simultaneously extend his administration’s hybrid warfare against China—which it clearly seeks to blame for the coronavirus pandemic to obfuscate its own horrendously slow and inadequate response—while weakening yet another international institution that does not respond to American whims and that does not solely serve American interests. Thus, while this is greatly disconcerting news indeed, the cutting of WHO funds in the middle of a global pandemic by the United States should not surprise anyone who has been following the steady path of unilateralism and belligerence that the Trump regime has pursued since its unfortunate inception. 

It seems that there is no end to US’ unilateralism, how do you think the world can respond to such measures?

It is truly shameful that the vast majority of member states of the United Nations, and especially those of the Security Council, prioritize their own short-term comfort, security, and economic gain over rigid attachment to and implementation of established principles and institutions that were created to perpetuate these very same things for the global collective in the long term. I am speaking of course about the UN Charter, United Nations Security Council resolutions, international law (eg. Geneva Conventions, rulings of ICC and ICJ), and established international treaties. US unilateralism is a direct extension of US imperialism and the nation’s quest to develop and maintain a global empire. Until members of the international community realize their own long-term self-interests in multilateralism and the rules based international order, and stand up to oppose American unilateralism, empire, and eternal warmongering through the very international institutions created to give such opposition meaning, American unilateralism will sadly continue to persist.

The other topic on the news is US’ reported efforts to block IMF’s emergency loan to Iran, although the body said on Wednesday that it is still assessing Iran’s request. Can these obstacles be defined as the continuation of the collective punishment of the Iranian people through the so-called ‘maximum pressure policy’?

Should the United States succeed in blocking the IMF emergency loan to Iran then these obstacles can be considered more direct, collective punishment of the Iranian people through the Trump regime’s so-called “maximum pressure policy.” As we recently saw by way of this week’s legal ruling in Luxembourg (re. the bogus attempt to award Sept. 11 victims $1.6b in Iranian funds) it is possible for institutions to counter the dictates of imperial America by simply doing their job properly and transparently, so it is hoped IMF policy will win the day over American manipulation.

Interview by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas

News Code 157697


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