Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has denounced Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran as an example of “state terrorism” with the aim of fomenting unrest in Iran.
“The policy of maximum pressure by the U.S. on Iran is designed to deliberately and indiscriminately target innocent civilians with the aim of creating suffering and hardship, as well as stoking social unrest in accordance with the flawed policy of regime change,” Takht-Ravanchi said at a meeting of the UN General Assembly's sixth committee on counter-terrorism on Thursday evening.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms, including state terrorism and economic and medical terrorism, which are carried out through unilateral coercive measures,” he said, according to Press TV.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. government imposed a new round of sanctions that virtually blacklists Iran’s entire financial sector – raising global concerns it will undermine Iran’s ability to import food and medicine.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the sanctions, which target 18 banks and punish foreign institutions that do business with them, are part of efforts to cut down on “illicit access to U.S. dollars” and won’t stifle humanitarian efforts.
European diplomats have asserted that the sanctions will have dire humanitarian consequences on a country hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Takht-Ravanchi said terrorizing nations has long been a major challenge for the international community, as it leads to instability in the targeted nations.
He pointed to the coronavirus pandemic, saying the imposition of U.S. laws and regulations with an extraterritorial impact on Iran and other countries is tantamount to terrorism.
“Coercive measures are a manifestation of structural violence that violates human rights, the right to peace, the right to development, the right to health and, above all, the right to life,” the ambassador added.
Other diplomats also reacted to the new U.S. sanctions.
Iran’s Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad said the move aims to limit Iran’s ability to import essential items against the coronavirus.
“The new sanctions against almost all Iranian banking and financial institutions aim to limit Iran’s ability to import essential items against Covid-19 and therefore crime against humanity. This abhorrent U.S. regime knows no bounds for crimes against its own people and others,” Baeidinejad said via Twitter on Thursday.
In his remarks, Takht-Ravanchi also pointed to the U.S. assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was Iran’s top anti-terror commander, saying the cowardly act was a clear example of state terrorism.
He said the killing was a gift to Daesh (ISIS) and other terrorist groups in the region, adding that the Islamic Republic has been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.
“It is a proven fact that the United States is spreading terrorism not only in our region but almost everywhere in the world,” he remarked.
“The United States has contributed to the creation of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Daesh through its interventionist policies in our region,” the envoy said, adding, “The country continues to train and supply weapons and explosives to its terrorist agents and partners, including PJAK, Tondar and Jaish ul-Adl, to carry out terrorist attacks in Iran.”