Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
In the letter, the organizations some of whom hold UN consultative status warned the world that the lives of Iranians has put in danger because of the US santions admid the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19.
Earlier, Iran’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations in New York Majid Takht Ravanchi said US’ insistence on imposing sanctions endangers not only Iranians but also the world.
The full text of Iranian NGOs’ letter follows:
We, the undersigned coalition of 343 Iranian non-governmental and civil society organizations, would like you to kindly use the power vested in your esteemed position to pay special attention to Iran’s situation vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic while the country is under unilaterally imposed sanctions that the United Nations documents also considered illegal1.The United State’s unilateral coercive measures against people of Iran, has put each and every Iranian at a serious risk due to inhumane economic sanctions.
The former UN rapporteur has called the said unilateral coercive measures, an economic war against Iran2. Today, in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic response, the Iranian population should fight the virus with empty hands. Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, President of the US, we have witnessed a range of ever-increasing coercive measures including economic, financial, technical and even humanitarian sanctions on Iran; measures that despite being called illegal by the UN, continue in effect endangering more lives while the UN and the international community has not taken any effective measures to rescue Iranian lives which have become more vulnerable under the sanctions.
The Iranian population now requires practical steps taken by the international community as well as a more decisive role on the part of the UN. The undersigned believe that such coercive measures are a new form of war that is emerging in international relations; therefore, unilaterally sanctioned countries such as the Islamic Republic of Iran should benefit from the protection of international humanitarian laws.
COVID-19 pandemic once again reminded everyone that in a global village no single country can resort to abusive unilateralist behavior to isolate itself at the time of epidemic events and crises.
The world is now faced with two crises that have both stemmed from political unilateralism. Firstly, refugee crisis that in the past decade has demonstrated that local and regional conflicts cannot remain local and regional while other parts of the world stay safe from direct or indirect effects of the said conflicts. Secondly, the spread of COVID-19 from east Asia that has now contaminated most countries in the world.
Amidst COVID-19 response, continued unilateral and inhumane sanctions against Iran claims more and more lives every day. Iranian physicians, nurses, health experts and health works keep losing their life to lack of medical, hygienic and pharmaceutical equipment. This pandemic disease has likewise seriously endangered domestic economy and production – a negative effect that presses the vulnerable social groups even harder. The government of Iran does not have any possibility to absorb funds to purchase required goods to provide an effective response to the said medical crisis and its economic aftermath, this would create a vicious cycle that could inadvertently strengthen the crisis at hand. We, the undersigned, believe that timely international efforts to lessen or lift the all-encompassing unilaterally imposed sanctions on Iran will stop a humanitarian crises from breaking out in near future.
Thank you very much in advance for your attention and prompt action.