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Iran sanctions affecting its people – UN Chief

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi

Russia and China have reluctantly supported all four rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program but worked hard to weaken the measures in negotiations on the Security Council resolutions before their adoption.

October 6, 2012 8:44 by



International sanctions on Iran are having “significant” effects on the Iranian people and also appear to be harming humanitarian operations in the country, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the U.N. General Assembly released on Friday.

The Iranian currency has fallen during the past year and over the last ten days alone has lost a third of its value, sparking street protests. U.S. official and other Western officials blame the drop on a combination of economic mismanagement and sanctions.

Iran is under U.N., U.S. and European Union sanctions for refusing to halt nuclear enrichment, which Western powers and their allies fear is part of a plan to amass the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Tehrandenies the charge, saying its atomic work is for medicine and generating electricity.

“The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine,” Ban said in the report.

Iran has been hit with four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions between 2006 and 2010 for refusing to halt its nuclear enrichment program. Western nations originally said the sanctions would hurt the government and not the people of Iran, but now acknowledge the wider impact.

Britain, France and Germany have called for more EU sanctions, but there are unlikely be further U.N. sanctions because of resistance from Russia and China. Moscow has repeatedly criticized unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions against Tehran.

Russia and China have reluctantly supported all four rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program but worked hard to weaken the measures in negotiations on the Security Council resolutions before their adoption.

“The sanctions also appear to be affecting humanitarian operations in the country,” Ban wrote in the report, dated Aug. 22, to the 193-member General Assembly on the “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“Even companies that have obtained the requisite license to import food and medicine are facing difficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions,” he said.

NO ‘SERIOUS’ PROPOSALS FROM IRAN

Ban said due to the payment problems some medical companies have stopped exporting medicine to Iran, leading to a reported shortage of drugs used to treat various illnesses, including cancer, heart and respiratory conditions and multiple sclerosis.

Ban said a number or Iranian aid groups and activists had expressed concern about inflation, rising commodity prices and the sanctions compounding each other to have “far-reaching effects on the general population.”

For nearly 10 years, various major powers have negotiated unsuccessfully with Iran to persuade it to halt its nuclear program in exchange for political and economic incentives. Since 2006, the United States, Britain,France, Germany, Russia and China have led the so-called “P5-plus-one” talks with Tehran.

The European Union has started discussing the possibility of a broad trade embargo against Iran, moving beyond the web of energy, business and financial restrictions imposed so far. But some states fear aggressive moves could backfire and rally the people behind Iran’s leaders.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held out the possibility on Wednesday that sanctions on Iran could be eased quickly if Tehran worked with major powers to address questions about its nuclear program.

Western diplomats said Iran continually offers proposals about how it could end the nuclear stand-off with the West, but they are not bringing them to the six-power group – the five permanent Security Council members andGermany - and do not appear to be sincere about resolving the crisis.

“The Iranians float all sorts of proposals outside the framework (of the six-power group) but nothing serious,” a senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Another Western diplomat said that Iranian proposals always involve the removal of sanctions before they would suspend sensitive nuclear activities, which he said was unacceptable.

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew his “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program, sayingTehran may be on the brink of an atom bomb in less than a year and suggesting that Israel might have to make a decision on whether to use military force against Iranian nuclear sites by spring 2013.



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1 Comment

  1. Dave Boman on October 6, 2012 9:29 pm

    It has taken along time to get the sanctions to take effect and now is not the time to Back Off. Everyone had to know it would eventually Effect the Iranian People(Everyone needs to quit pretending they didn’t know it would lead to the point it has come to, How Nieave) . The facts are the Iranian Regime has had the Opportunity to End Any Hard Ships it has Allowed it Government and It’s People since the inception of the Sanctions.Irans Regime is Playing Games and Has Pushed enough Buttons to have Russia and China j
    To reluctantly join in the Sanctions because of their abusive Retoric toward Israel and failure to simply show the World your Nuclear Program is what you say it is, Which is Non-Military. If it is Non-Military then you should have not issues showing the World it is exactly as you say it is. it’s so SMIPLE , That is if your are telling the TRUTH which if I put 100 random people from around the World and asked if they believed Iran is being Truthful about not having Military ambitions with their Nuclear Program at least 90% would not believe Irans telling the Truth . Why would any Government damage it’s Country and Hurt it’s People if it had Nothing To Hide, It Makes No Sense!
    At this Point the best thing that could happen is a Government Collapse. This far better than a Bloody war Between the US , Israel , Iran and who Knows who Else, WWIII? So Ban and Hillary need to sit back and shut Up and let the Sanctions Do what they were designed to Water the Persian Spring and let the Flower of Freedom Bloom!

     

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