Re­turn of U.S. Sanc­tions Real Chal­lenge to Ira­nian Peo­ple

Iran News - - DOMESTIC -

TEHRAN - The Aus­tralian am­bas­sador to Iran has de­scribed the restora­tion of U.S. sanc­tions on Tehran as “real chal­lenge” to the Ira­nian peo­ple, say­ing the prospects that sanc­tions could neg­a­tively af­fect Ira­nian pa­tients and women and chil­dren were “deeply con­cern­ing”.

“Th­ese are real chal­lenge to the peo­ple of Iran,” Ian Biggs told IFP News in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view on the side­lines of an in­ter­na­tional sem­i­nar on ef­fects of con­flict on women, chil­dren and en­vi­ron­ment on Tues­day.

“Th­ese are deeply con­cern­ing prospects,” he said, when asked about his view on the US sanc­tions tar­get­ing Ira­nian pop­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing women and chil­dren. The U.S. re­in­stated sanc­tions against Iran’s oil and bank­ing in­dus­try on Mon­day, fol­low­ing its with­drawal from the 2015 nu­clear deal and pledges that Wash­ing­ton will place max­i­mum pres­sure on Iran.

Hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­plies are for­mally ex­empted from sanc­tions, but ex­perts be­lieve the sanc­tions are so se­vere that they will de­ter any kind of trade with Iran. Biggs said the sanc­tions could also cre­ate ob­sta­cles to those who seek to pro­mote in­ter­na­tional en­gage­ment with Iran.

How­ever, the se­nior Aus­tralian diplo­mat said all needed to wait to see what sanc­tions will lead to.

“I can­not say any­thing fi­nal at this stage, be­cause we still don’t quite un­der­stand what they [US] want to achieve,” he said. “We will have to see what they mean in prac­tice for all those who are liv­ing here and try­ing to pro­mote in­ter­na­tional en­gage­ment with Iran. But it’s a real chal­lenge to the peo­ple,” he said.

Biggs sug­gested that Aus­tralian diplo­mats in Tehran will do their best to pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion with Iran.

“This is a very dif­fi­cult time. We will be do­ing what we can, be­cause the ef­forts of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity have been to work with Iran,” he said.

Biggs said the Aus­tralian diplo­mats have in the past 50 years been work­ing “to make sure that pros­per­ity, de­vel­op­ment, safety [and all] those fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights are ob­served in this coun­try”.

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