Iran Raps US “Instrumental Use” of Human Rights

The Foreign Ministry of Iran lashed out at the US for using human rights as a tool for violating the rights of the Iranian people, denouncing the unilateral economic sanctions imposed by the US as a brazen violation of international law and human rights.

In a statement on the occasion of the American Human Rights Review and Exposure Week (June 27-July 3), Iran’s Foreign Ministry denounced the political approach and use of double standards on human rights by the United States.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes that US unilateralism and imposition of unilateral economic sanctions with the aim of forcing governments to change their policies is a gross and systematic violation of human rights,” the ministry said.

Iran “considers the US use of economic means to pressure politically independent countries as a clear example of human rights violations and the use of economic terrorism to achieve political goals, and believes that this has exposed known norms and frameworks of human rights to complex challenges”, it added.

The Islamic Republic, the ministry said, is one of the countries most severely affected by the instrumental use of human rights by the United States.

“The imposition of unilaterally coercive sanctions by the United States has become a tool for violating the natural and legal rights of the Iranian people, including the right to life, the right to health, the right to adequate living standards, the right to education and access to knowledge and technology, and the right to development in addition to the gross violation of the rights of women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.”

The ministry touched on some of the repercussions of the sanctions, saying they had endangered food security, led to the non-cooperation of companies supplying medical and health goods and equipment with Iran and disrupted purchase of drugs for rare and acute diseases.

As a result of the sanctions, it said, Iranian researchers and physicians have been banned from accessing medical resources available on the servers of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and PubMed, especially during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sanctions on the aviation industry and aircraft parts have seriously endangered the safety of Iranian passenger planes, while the lack of access to the international financial system and refusal of foreign companies to accept foreign exchange guarantees issued by Iranian banks have put additional economic pressure on bread-earning Iranian women and led to a decline in purchasing power of the elderly and problems for people with physical and mental disabilities in accessing medicines and medical equipment, adequate care and rehabilitation, it added.

Still, Iran is not the only nation that has suffered from the double standards and systematic human rights violations by the United States, the ministry said.

While the US claims to be an advocate of human rights, there is no meaningful monitoring of the violations of the rights of minorities such as Muslims and people of color within the United States where hate-mongering is widely pursued by officials and police forces, it added.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the US “is the biggest supporter of the Israeli occupation regime, which, through its material and non-material support of the regime, provides the basis for the continuation of human rights violations in the occupied territories.”

Moreover, “the oppressed and defenseless people of Yemen are targeted daily by American weapons, which are sold to the aggressor and warring countries for financial and commercial purposes, while any end to the crisis in the country is opposed”, it said.

Using the two concepts of human rights and counterterrorism as a tool, the United States has also physically eliminated the greatest heroes of the fight against terrorism, most recently Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani who was assassinated by the US government in 2020, the ministry added.

“As highlighted by the UN Human Rights Council’s thematic rapporteurs, the assassination of General Soleimani is an arbitrary violation of the right to life and contrary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

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