The UK, Germany, France, and EU voice their concern over recent U.S. sanctions against Iran

A statement issued by Britain’s Foreign Office – with the High Representative of the EU and the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany – voices concern over recent U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The statement criticizes the recent U.S. move to further limit Iran oil exports and limit the waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects.

“We take note with regret and concern of the decision by the United States not to extend waivers with regards to trade in oil with Iran”. “We also note with concern the decision by the United States not to fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects in the framework of the JCPOA.”

On Friday, The United States decided to tighten sanctions against Iran that directly impact the nation’s oil exports. The U.S. administration said in a statement it will continue “to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of its people, and return to the negotiating table,” ABC reported.

Human Rights in Iran

But which rights is the Iranian government allegedly violating to justify U.S. sanctions against it? Is the government violating any human right?

Based on the Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, we could say it is. This report, which can be found online, details violations against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and contains examples such as:

“Iranian women face discrimination in personal status matters related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody. Iranian women cannot pass on their nationality to their foreign-born spouses or their children like men. A married woman may not obtain a passport or travel outside the country without the written permission of her husband. Under the civil code, a husband is accorded the right to choose the place of living and can prevent his wife from having certain occupations if he deems them against “family values.”

Articles 15 and 16

Which Human Right would this behavior violate? According to the example provided in the Human Rights Watch World Report, Iran would be violating articles 15 and 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

These articles indicate that everyone has the right to a nationality and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality and that marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. Moreover, minors entering into marriages without their consent or knowledge of what this means constitutes a violations of Child and Women Rights.

There are many other examples, but I believe the point gets across. The question now would be are the sanctions against Iran related to the violation of human rights? Or are they aimed at nuclear power production?

Nuclear Energy impacting international policies

Sputnik News reported that the U.S. has warned Iran to halt certain nuclear actions related to the proliferation of sensible nuclear activities. The news site quotes a statement issued by the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Octagus.

In fact, Sputnik adds that the United States is studying the possibility to impose sanctions against those who provide assistance to expand Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant as of May 4. We should remember that Russia and Iran signed a deal in 2014 to build two new nuclear reactors at this plant. However, the U.S. extended waivers for Iran’s non-proliferation activities at its Bushehr, Fordow, Arak, and Tehran facilities for ninety days.

“We are permitting the following nonproliferation activities to continue, for a renewable duration of 90 days (…) the redesign of the Arak reactor to prevent it from becoming a factory for weapons-grade plutonium; modification of infrastructure at the Fordow facility to help ensure that the facility is no longer used for uranium enrichment work; work at the existing unit at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant; provision of enriched uranium on an as-needed basis for the Tehran Research Reactor; the transfer out of Iran of scrap and spent nuclear reactor fuel.”

Iran has conditions

For its part, the government of President Hassan Rouhani said on April 24 that the U.S. must reverse economic sanctions and apologize for its illegal actions. As to the recent sanctions, Iran has reportedly chose to “enrich Uranium in response to recent U.S. decisions meant to hinder this initiative,” news site BAE Negocios said.

These are the measures that the UK and EU criticized in the statement issued by Britain’s Foreign Office. The next step is to evaluate how these sanctions against Iran impact business in the EU. Still, the sanctions are getting increasingly harsher as well as the Iranian government’s stance.

For more information, check Energía16

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