By Latheef Farook –
The United Nations together with United States and European Union have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran knowing very well how the UN sanctions virtually destroyed the Iraqi society. The reason being Iran is accused of developing nuclear weapon. Iran is only accused of developing nuclear weapon and not developed yet. So sanctions were imposed to force Iran to stop what it has been time and again claiming as peaceful nuclear program.
Iran has never been a threat to anyone in the region and beyond. Iran is only making every possible effort to protect itself from military designs of Zionists and their supporters in the US and Europe and collaborators in the Middle East. Yet sanctions on Iran?
However Israel established on the plundered Palestinian lands ,known for its crime records since early 1930s and has been the sole source of instability due to its frequent wars, aggressions, massacres, killings and bloodshed, is reported to have not only developed but also possess around 300 nuclear war heads.
However no sanctions against Israel! This is today’s international justice under the sole super power United States where governments are made and unmade by Jewish lobbies –the real rulers of US.
|This is not the first time that sanctions were imposed on Iran as sanctions were imposed following the Islamic revolution of 1979.|
Since 31 July 2006 the UN Security Council passed numerous resolutions demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, banned the supply of nuclear-related materials and technology , froze the assets of key individuals and companies related to the program, imposed an arms embargo and expanded the freeze on Iranian assets, extended the asset freezes and called upon states to monitor the activities of Iranian banks, inspect Iranian ships and aircraft and to monitor the movement of individuals involved with the program through their territory, banned Iran from participating in any activities related to ballistic missiles, tightened the arms embargo, travel bans on individuals involved with the program, froze the funds and assets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, recommended that states inspect Iranian cargo, prohibit the servicing of Iranian vessels involved in prohibited activities, prevent the provision of financial services used for sensitive nuclear activities, closely watch Iranian individuals and entities when dealing with them, prohibit the opening of Iranian banks on their territory and prevent Iranian banks from entering into relationship with their banks if it might contribute to the nuclear program and prevent financial institutions operating in their territory from opening offices and accounts in Iran.
United States was joined in these draconian sanctions by United Nations, European Union, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and even India which enacted a ban on the export of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology that could contribute to Iran’s nuclear program.
Thus Iran has been systematically strangulated to submit to the dictates of United States and thereby the international Jewry. However Iran is Iran. Iranians who are proud inheritors to a 7500 year old civilization. refused to bow down to US blackmail and threats.
Today sanctionsreduced Iran’s access to products needed for the oil and energy sectors, prompted many oil companies to withdraw from Iran and have caused a decline in oil production due to reduced access to technologies needed to improve their efficiency.
Those who impose these sanctions are fully aware of the misery they cause to the innocent people of Iran as they had done to the civilian population in
Iraq through sanctions. For example the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Denis Halliday once described sanctions as a form of “genocide”.
Let us what US,UN, European and Arab sanctions had done to destroy Iraqi populations for generations to come.
In Iraq the UN sanctions, proved an insidious form of warfare, against a nation already reduced to rubble with its infrastructure destroyed and its health and education systems in shambles by the US-NATO invasion backed by Arab tyrants. While men, women and children died almost daily due to poverty, starvation, malnutrition, lack of medical facilities and essential medicines, inevitably even students were deprived of basic facilities such as books and even buildings. Unlike in the pre-sanctions era, when the streets of Baghdad were packed with thousands of children heading to schools and universities, the post-sanctions forced thousands to drop out of school to support their families, who had to resort to extreme means to earn a living.
The ban on oil sales also proved a crippling blow to the Iraqi economy, which in turn decimated the Iraqi population, frightened round the clock by incessant “Bush-Blair” bombs. Poverty, hunger, disease and an increasing number of avoidable deaths especially among women, children and the elderly became increasingly commonplace.
According to reports from independent Western sources, sanctions against Iraq resulted in the deaths of as many as 500,000 Iraqi children. This was the scale of the suffering and yet former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in an interview with CBS in May 1996, that the “death of more than half a million children was worth the price”. What a compassionate woman!
She was not alone in her contempt for human life in Iraq. Former Defence Secretary and Secretary of State General Colin Powell said, when asked about the number of Iraqis killed in the war, “it’s really not a number I’m terribly interested in”. Colin Powell, a black American, was singing the tune of his “White Masters”, which prompted the renowned singer Harry Belafonte to once remark, “Even when the blacks worked as slaves in the cotton fields in early times there were slaves who used to eat the crumbs that fall from the White Master’s table”. The canals of human kindness have become dry for these champions of human rights, as they think that Iraqis are not human beings with children, parents and families and they too feel pain.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Denis Halliday who resigned from his job in 1998, after 34 years with the UN, to protest against the effects of the embargo on the Iraqi civilian population wrote, “Because the policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt, we are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple as that…Five thousand children are dying every month…I don’t want to administer a program that results in figures like these”.
He added, “I had been instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults. We all know that the regime – Saddam Hussein – is not paying the price for economic sanctions; on the contrary, he has been strengthened by them. It is the little people who are losing their children or their parents for lack of untreated water. What is clear is that the Security Council is now out of control, for its actions here undermine its own Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention. History will slaughter those responsible”.
Halliday’s successor as Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad Hans Von Sponeck who too had been with the UN for more than thirty years also resigned on 13 February 2000, asking, “How long the civilian population of Iraq should be exposed to such punishment for something they have never done?” Two days later, Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Programme in Iraq, another UN agency, resigned saying that she, too, could no longer tolerate what was being done to the Iraqi people.
The resignations were unprecedented. All three were saying the unsayable: “that the US- and UK-led West was responsible for mass deaths.
Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said in 1995, that the “international community has failed to confront” the ethical question of whether suffering inflicted on vulnerable groups in the target country is a legitimate means of exerting pressure on political leaders whose behaviour is unlikely to be affected by the plight of their subjects”. Up to date there has been no answer. And the silence of the world community troubles all right thinking people.
Former US President Bill Clinton declared that sanctions would be in place until the end of time, or as long as he (Saddam Hussein) lasts. These arrogant and heartless statements were in direct violation of Security Council Resolution 687, which states that, upon compliance, the “sanctions shall have no further voice or effect”. This was further aggravated by the attitude and actions of the former head of the UN weapons inspection team, Richard Butler, described by many as an accomplice in the US war against Iraq and a racist who made no attempt to hide his contempt for Arab and Islamic Culture.
By the end of the Clinton administration in 1999, his war against the Iraqi people resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, cleaned out Iraq of more than US$140 billion in oil revenue and saddled the country with hyper-inflation. This inevitably resulted in mass poverty depriving millions of families of food for young children or nutritional supplements necessary for treatment of malnourishment, causing social and economic dislocation, leading to an intolerable rate of unemployment as high as seventy percent. Absence of consistent electricity and clean water supplies too contributed to the massive increase in child malnutrition and disease.
Iraq, which was on the brink of upgrading its third world status, had been forced to deal with epidemics of cholera and typhoid resulting from the dumping of raw sewage in its waterways. Its modern hospitals, once equipped with the latest facilities, could hardly source the electricity or basic medicines to treat its increasingly malnourished and sick population. The situation had deteriorated to such an extent that even university professors and other top intellectuals had been relegated to work as taxi drivers in their struggle to survive while people on the lower rungs of society suffered far worse deprivation. More than 6.5 million Iraqi people used to depend on a monthly ration which included a bag of wheat, some congealed cooking oil, bars of soap and a few other household necessities.
On the subject of sanctions, the “Foreign Affairs” journal of the US establishment itself estimated in 1999 that “Iraqi deaths from sanctions exceeded the number slain by all the so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout history”. Iraq as a nation was pushed back to a pre-industrial era.
A most disgusting state of affairs is that influential people in the West used their positions to exploit the UN Oil-for-Food program to make money for them. Among the several names mentioned in a probe was UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s son, Kojo Annan, who was employed as a consultant for the Swiss-based firm, Cotecna, a UN contractor that monitored food and medicine shipments that were sent to Iraq. He ended his contract with the firm shortly after it had won a US$4.8 million UN contract to monitor goods shipped to Iraq. According to sources, the US Justice Department even investigated Kojo Annan’s conduct, trying to determine whether Annan and others could be prosecuted for any crimes in the United States.
The Rulers of the World
Describing sanctions as a “holocaust” on Iraq, well known columnist John Pilger, himself a Westerner, had this to say; “the saddest thing I saw in Iraq was children dying because there was no chemotherapy and no pain control. In 1989, the literacy rate was more than ninety percent; parents were fined for failing to send their children to school. The phenomenon of street children was unheard of. Iraq had reached a stage where the basic indicators we use to measure the overall wellbeing of human beings, including children, were some of the best in the world. Now it is among the bottom at twenty percent.
Though a tyrant Saddam Hussein fostered a relatively large, healthy, well-fed, well-educated middle class. Before the sanctions, Iraqis consumed more than 3,000 calories in their diet each per day; 92 percent of the people had safe water and 93 percent enjoyed free health care. Adult literacy was one of the highest in the world, at around 95 percent. According to the Economist’s Intelligence Unit, “the Iraqi welfare state was, until recently, among the most comprehensive and generous in the Arab world”.
John Pilger said “I put to Denis Halliday one evening in New York. We were standing, just the two of us, in the great modernist theatre that is the General Assembly at the UN. “This is where the real world is represented,” he said. ”One state, one vote. By contrast, the Security Council has five permanent members which have veto rights. There is no democracy there. Had the issue of sanctions on Iraq gone to the General Assembly, it would have been overturned by a very large majority. We have to change the United Nations, to reclaim what is ours. The genocide in Iraq is the test of our will. All of us have to break the silence: to make those responsible, in Washington and London aware that history will slaughter them.”
Almost two decades later today the United States,Britain and Europe together with international Jewry are doing to Iranians with their sanctions what they did to the Iraqis. Where is the so called international community? Where are the so called worldwide? Of course shocked and disgusted right thinking people worldwide are watching these crimes with serious concern! The question is where is the humanity heading under these war mongers?