Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said the US-engineered unilateral sanctions against Iran are causing humanitarian problems in the Islamic Republic.
In an interview with ‘Russia Today’ on Sunday, Churkin said, “Some of the things which are being done by some members of the six (the P5+1 group of world powers comprising Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany) are counterproductive because, in addition to Security Council sanctions, they piled up all sorts of unilateral sanctions, which we believe are not needed as a matter of principle.”
Churkin added that the sanctions were creating humanitarian problems in Iran and causing ‘some bad blood in the [Iran-P5+1] talks with Iran which is not really necessary’.
Meanwhile, a Russian official described US unilateral sanctions on Iran as oppressive, saying his country does not support the bans.
Andrei Lugansky, head of Russia-Iran business council, told IRNA that sanctions have been imposed on Iran on the basis of unfounded documents.
Lugansky further criticized the West’s anti-Iran approach, stressing that sanctions were against international principle. He underlined the need for lifting the sanctions.
Restrictions, the Russian official said, have well prepared the ground for promotion of Tehran-Moscow relations.
He reiterated that no one can create obstacles in the way of enhancing cooperation between the two nations.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Based on the false allegation, Washington and the European Union have imposed a series of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The bans come on top of four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran under the same pretext.
Iran rejects the allegations and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The US-engineered sanctions are putting the lives of Iranian patients in jeopardy. Though the US has not imposed any bans on American firms to sell medicine and medical supplies to Iran, exporters have been required to apply for special licenses. In the wake of the sanctions, the impossibility of transferring money through banks has cast its shadow upon medicine and healthcare in Iran, thereby jeopardizing the lives of millions of patients suffering from special diseases such as thalassemia, hemophilia, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes among others.
Data released by the US Department of Commerce on February 8, 2013 shows that exports of pharmaceutical products to Iran had decreased by half despite Washington’s claims that ‘punitive measures’ have no humanitarian consequences.
In November 2012, a hemophiliac Iranian teenager lost his life in hospital due to the shortage of required medication caused by the US-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Russia has repeatedly announced its opposition to the unilateral sanctions imposed against Iran.
On February 8, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich criticized the unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran as dangerous and inefficient, saying that the bans hinder efforts to reach a diplomatic solution.
Tehran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of negotiations mainly over Iran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides have agreed to hold the next round of talks in Kazakhstan on February 26.
When asked about the possibility of a military attack against Iran by the US or the Israeli regime, Churkin said, “I hope common sense and good reason will stop them (the US and Israel) because this would be the worst thing to do.”
Referring to the fact that none of the members of the P5+1 believe that Iran has made any decision to make a nuclear weapon, the Russian envoy said there is room for a diplomatic solution to the western standoff with Iran over the issue.
“So that (a military attack) would be an irrational dangerous step, to say nothing of the regional repercussions of the conflict with Iran because now we are facing instability in the region,” Churkin said.
12,000 Foreign Students at Iranian Universities
Advisor to the minister of science, research and technology, Rasoul Malekfar said on Monday that there are 12,000 foreign students studying at Iranian universities nationwide.
Speaking to reporters, he said these students admitted to Iranian universities attend classed regularly, IRNA reported.
Based on the second five-year economic and development plan the number of foreign students in Iran should exceed 25,000, he said.
Expansion of virtual or distance learning can help increase the number of foreign students at Iranian universities, he said.
Some 4.5 million students are now studying at 3,000 universities and other higher education centers in Iran.
FM: US Must First...
From Page 1
“I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary and speak frankly, honestly and firmly. An offer of talks makes sense only when the side [that makes the offer] shows its goodwill,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a Thursday meeting with the officials and commanders of Iran’s Air Force.
“You (the Americans) point the gun at Iran and say either negotiate or we pull the trigger! You should know that pressure and negotiations don’t go together, and that the [Iranian] nation will not be intimidated by such things,” the Leader added.
US Deceptive Designs of Talks
By Yuram Abdullah Weiler
The Potomac Potentates have proclaimed a new set of sanctions in another abortive attempt to tyrannize Iran.
While further US-imposed economic sanctions on Iran are hardly headline news, the juxtaposition of this announcement only four days after US Vice President Joe Biden’s ‘offer’ of direct talks with Tehran at the Munich Security Conference dramatically spotlights the absence of US credibility.
Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in response, said, “You (the Americans) point the gun at Iran and say either negotiations or we pull the trigger! You should know that pressure and negotiations do not go together, and the [Iranian] nation will not be intimidated by such things.”
Personally, I am in full agreement with the Leader’s assessment. Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in February of 1979, the US attitude towards normalizing relations with the Islamic Republic has ranged from apathetic to threatening. Let us briefly examine Iran-US relations, which truthfully could be described as a tale of treachery against Tehran.
The United States has been in a perpetual state of ‘national emergency’ with respect to Iran since November 14, 1979, when Executive Order 12170 was signed by former president Jimmy Carter.
Since the time the original order was signed, every successive US president--Reagan, Bush Senior, Clinton and Bush Junior--has felt the need to continue the ‘state of emergency’ with respect to Iran.
Following suit, Obama again renewed the decree on November 9, 2012: “Our relations with Iran have not yet returned to normal, and the process of implementing the agreements with Iran, dated January 19, 1981, is still under way. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared on November 14, 1979, with respect to Iran, beyond November 14, 2012.”
The January 19, 1981 agreements with Iran mentioned above refers to the Algiers Accords whose terms dictated that release of US Embassy hostages and resolution of other claims by US nationals against Iran should have resulted in a process ending in normalization of Iran-US relations.
As set forth in the document, “The United States will restore the financial position of Iran, in so far as possible, to that which existed prior to November 14, 1979.” For its part, the US declared ‘that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs’. In short, Iranian funds frozen by the state of emergency, which were transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the Bank of England, were supposed to be released to Iran upon release of the US hostages. Obviously, the US did not uphold its part of the agreement.
It was not until the Zionist invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the subsequent abduction of Americans, which the US alleged was linked to Iran, that Reagan changed his ‘neutrality’ in the Iran-Iraq war and threw full US support behind Saddam’s regime.
In 1983, he initiated Operation Staunch, a worldwide attempt to embargo arms shipments desperately needed by Iran to defend against the invading Iraqis. By 1987, Reagan launched Operation Earnest Will in an attempt to keep western oil shipments moving through the Persian Gulf, then Operation Praying Mantis in 1988, under which the US attacked Iranian ships.
US relations with Iran did not thaw after the inauguration of George H.W. Bush, who maintained the hostile attitude and policies of his predecessor Reagan.
Bush’s policy initially was to support Saddam’s regime in Iraq in hopes of mitigating the dictator’s aggressive tendencies and to further alienate Iran.
The downward trend in relations persisted during the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, who implemented a ‘dual containment’ policy against both Iran and Iraq.
Accusing Iran of being behind the Khobar Saudi Arabia attacks in 1996, Clinton initiated CIA covert operations under the code name Sapphire targeting Iran’s intelligence personnel.
Hopes of improved relations under Bush Junior’s administration, quickly vanished when he accused Tehran of supplying arms and munitions to insurgents in Iraq. Adding insult to injury, Bush called Iran a member of the ‘Axis of Evil’ and soon afterwards, began accusing Iran of ‘illegal’ uranium enrichment and developing nuclear weapons.
While Iran stood firm on its right to a peaceful nuclear energy program, the Bush administration pushed four resolutions through the UN Security Council which froze Iranian assets and imposed other sanctions.
Hopes for a breakthrough in Iran-US relations were perhaps higher with Barack Obama than with any previous US president. Unfortunately, those hopes were squelched when Obama, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, proved to be robust with rhetoric but short on sincerity, except in the case of sanctions against Iran. After pressuring Security Council members for six months, Obama pushed through UN Resolution 1929, which contained additional sanctions blocking certain technology transfers to Iran, on June 9, 2010. Since then, Obama has aggressively added more and more sanctions against Iran.
Since the goal of the US-imposed unilateral sanctions is to choke the economic life out of Iran, the Leader is correct to refuse such phony US ‘offers’ of direct talks.
Washington is engulfed in misology, for it thinks that sanctions will achieve its goals in Iran when its own experts testify to the contrary. And when Washington is finally forced to cease and desist from its perpetual tirade of threats, military interference and covert operations--as eventually it will be--the Islamic Revolution will spread from Iran throughout the Middle East.
Source: Press TV
Salehi in Moscow
Foreign Minster Ali Akbar Salehi arrived in Moscow on Monday to attend the 10th Iran-Russia joint economic commission.
The annual meeting of the Russian-Iranian Business Council (RIBC) takes place on February 11-12 in Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart are set to meet to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, Voice of Russia reported.
They will discuss preparations for the Almaty meeting of Iran and six mediators of the nuclear program scheduled for February 26.
The RIBC was set up in 2006 and the two countries have signed documents for expanding economic cooperation in various fields such as nuclear energy, oil, gas, industry and tourism.
Iran and Russia have a close cooperation in other fields such as security, fighting drug trafficking and transportation.
Analyst: Iran Stronger...
From Page 1
The launching of the NAM Summit Conference in Tehran was not only extremely successful, but it also revealed Iran’s ability to gain support from many other nations and the fact that Iran is now the host nation that makes its presence on the international scene that much stronger.
Do you think the recent changes in US State Department and Pentagon would lead to practical shifts in Washington’s foreign policy toward Iran?
I believe Obama and the US in general now fully understand that Iran is not a nation to be taken lightly and that the country does has the ability to defend itself if attacked.
We can now see a swing of power from the West to the Far East and this has the potential to cause significant damage to not only the US but that of its current aggressive foreign policy.
Changes are taking place as we speak and one can clearly see that the national debt within the US is beyond repair. It is obvious that very soon the US has to accept it is no longer the supreme super power it used to be and must succumb to the global changes that will force change.
I believe Iran will play a major role, internationally speaking, when the next super power takes office and one could see your country becoming a sort of Islamic Super Power in the Middle East and rightfully so.
Iran and P5+1 have agreed to hold another round of nuclear talks on February 26th. What is your view on that? Can you see any positive sign for a peaceful resolution for this long-standing dispute?
The current western stance against Iran is a total farce and has nothing to do with Iran’s capability to develop nuclear weapons. We saw this same situation when both Pakistan and India were wrongly blamed for their intentions in nuclear research and yet the West did not threaten action against them if they continued on their respective nuclear programs.
The West, and the US in particular, planned taking out at least seven Islamic countries well over 20 years ago in order to divide and conquer the Middle East with the intention to force a regime change and replace them with their own puppet governments.
We can now see that Syria and Iran continue to remain strong resulting in the West swinging its attention to Africa.
In relation to the next round of nuclear talks later this month, I feel that any future meetings on Iran serves no other purpose for them than to continue their intimidation on what is now clearly a lost cause.
Iran must continue to hold its ground on this issue and in doing so it will show the international community that it has nothing to hide or fear.
Titans in Elections
From Page 1
Of course many other personalities have intentions to join the presidential race, but the above are the luckiest to win the elections.
According to forecasts, Rahim Mashaei is the luckiest among president’s men and others are struggling to find a competitor for him. If Rahim Mashaei and another heavy-weight competitor enter elections, we may have a heated election with a high turn-out at the beginning of summer in Iran. Challenges and competition among political titans will become more serious within upcoming months leading up to the elections. All in all, as we have seen in previous presidential elections in Iran, the heat will rise as we approach the elections.
Aid for Syrian, Palestinian Refugees
Iran on Monday sent a second major humanitarian aid cargo to Beirut for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.