GENEVA (Dispatches) -- Iran’s envoy to the UN Human Rights Council here on Friday condemned U.S. sanctions as a breach of the UN Charter and a major challenge to the Islamic Republic’s efforts to improve the human rights situation in the country.
Addressing a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Iran, Muhammad Javad Larijani said Tehran "has continuously worked for further promotion of human rights through adopting a constructive and collaborative approach.”
However, he complained, the U.S. economic sanctions have been a major challenge to these efforts.
"Economic sanctions, as known as unilateral coercive measures, impede the full achievement of economic and social development … and the right to life, health, work, development, etc.”
Larijani said the "cruel” economic sanctions by the U.S. are a clear form of terrorism, and have targeted the Iranian people.
According to the Iranian official, the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions on Iran and its business partners, "through intimidation of other countries to prevent trade and investment,” is an "evident example of economic terrorism, which violate the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, including sovereignty, independence, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”
Larijani also pointed to a provisional order issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in October 2018, which urged the U.S. to halt the unilateral sanctions it had reimposed on "humanitarian supplies to Iran.”
"Despite the binding nature of ICJ provisional measures, the U.S. has in practice refrained to comply with the order, and the impediments not only persist, but have become more restrictive in practice,” he noted.
The Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on October 3 regarding the July 2018 lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington's decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions following the US exit from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
The decisions of the ICJ – which rules on disputes between UN member states – are legally binding.
Larijani referred to the U.S. sanctions as a "flagrant contempt for human dignity and a grave threat to international peace and security.”
"The Islamic Republic of Iran as one of the major victims of terrorism and at the same time as one of the strongest combatants against this phenomenon, believes that terrorism and extremism have led to the growth of violation, violation of human rights, and has threatened the economic and social development of nations,” he said.
He also highlighted Tehran’s efforts in promoting the human rights, and said Iran has promulgated major policies, adopted new laws and regulations and set up new mechanisms in this regard.
These efforts include ratifying the charter of citizenship rights, prohibiting torture and new criminal procedure codes, he went on to say.