'Being Iranian is crime enough under Trump administration'

TEHRAN, Oct. 14 (MNA) – The New York Times in an article on Wed. said the US efforts to cut Iran off from the rest of the world in the midst of the pandemic are 'cruel', noting that Under the Trump administration, being Iranian is crime enough.

"This fall, as the Covid-19 death toll continues to climb in Iran — the hardest-hit country in the Middle East — the Trump administration has shown little mercy. The U.S. government has voiced its opposition to Iran’s request, still unfulfilled, for a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. As Iran surpasses half a million cases and more than 27,000 deaths, the administration is adding new sanctions on a country that was already struggling to buy essential medicines," the NY Times editorial board wrote.

"Last week, the Trump administration sanctioned 18 Iranian banks, which appear to have been the last financial institutions with international ties left untouched by Treasury Department sanctions. The announcement was the latest move in an effort to hermetically seal the Iranian economy off from the rest of the world," it added.

"Under the Trump administration, being Iranian is crime enough. The list of new financial pariahs includes Bank Maskan, which specializes in mortgages, and Bank Keshavarzi Iran, which lends to farmers." The article notes that these sanctions act as a "collective punishment for tens of millions of innocent Iranians". 

"The unilateral and extraterritorial nature of the sanctions irks America’s closest allies."

"Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, calls the American “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran “sadism masquerading as foreign policy.” In the past, sanctions on Iranian banks were part of a broader strategy to get Iran to agree to limits on its [peaceful] nuclear program, undertaken with the support of American allies in Europe, as well as Russia and China. But the Trump administration walked away from the deal those sanctions produced. Ever since the United States has been virtually alone on the United Nations Security Council is trying to ratchet up pressure on Iran. The unilateral and extraterritorial nature of the sanctions — which threatens to cut off not only Iran but also any company in the world that does business with Iran — irks America’s closest allies."

"The new sanctions against these 18 banks are particularly cruel during a pandemic. Trump administration officials insist the sanctions, which will take effect in December, don’t apply to food and medicine. They also say they have taken pains to provide waivers to companies that want to sell needed supplies to the country. But the process of getting waivers approved is too cumbersome and time-consuming to meet health needs during a pandemic. Even if companies get waivers to sell needed medical supplies to Iran, Iran would still struggle to pay for them. The country lacks hard currency because the Trump administration has tried to stop other countries from buying Iranian products, especially oil, and because American banking sanctions make it difficult for Iran to touch the export revenue it earns."

In its latest move, the US Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on 18 Iranian banks in a hostile move on Thursday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also claimed that US maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic will continue until Iran returns to the negotiating table.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to a new round of the US sanctions on Iranian banks and maintained that the country seeks to blow up Iran’s remaining channels to pay for food and medicine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Referring to US miscalculation in withdrawing from the JCPOA, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “The US government, based on a misguided analysis, believed that these sanctions would crush Iran's resistance and cause us trouble, but time has indicated that this analysis is far from the truth and has been ineffective.”


News Code 164719


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