UN delegation visits the Islamic Republic for first time since 2005. Meetings with government officials, economic and health experts, members of civil society on the agenda. Alena Douhan: A plan to "develop a collaborative programwith Tehran" being studied.
Tehran (AsiaNews) - Unilateral U.S. sanctions and economic coercive measures promoted by Washington against Tehran are having "disastrous" effects on the life of the Islamic Republic and, in particular, on the weaker segments of the Iranian population, according to independent expert and U.N. Special Rapporteur on Unilateral Coercive Measures Alena Douhan on recently concluding a 12-day visit, the first since 2005.
Analysts and experts have long pointed out that the U.S. sanctions, strengthened during the Trump presidency as part of the "maximum pressure" policy in the anti-nuclear key, have "tanked" its economy. Douhan adds the grip on Tehran imposed by the United States is illegal and should be lifted as soon as possible.
"During our visit," continued the expert, whose role was created in 2014 at the UN Human Rights Council, "we were able to observe the devastating impact of the sanctions on the humanitarian level. The measures imposed, she continued at yesterday's press conference, "violate international law, they are illegal!"
The U.N. working group's visit took place from May 7 to 18. A report will be prepared in the coming weeks, the final version of which will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September. "The best solution," Douhan continued, "would be to revoke them. The mission took place amid a stalemate in talks among world powers on Iran's nuclear deal, in an attempt to revive the 2015 agreement (JCPOA) defeated by Trump.
During her mission to Iran, the UN Special Rapporteur met with government officials and representatives of civil society organizations, health experts and members of financial institutions. And it was precisely in conjunction with the visit that a new phase of protests by the Iranian population opened, which took to the streets to protest cuts in subsidies and the economic crisis and was forcibly repressed by the authorities with a toll of five deaths and dozens of arrests.
"I do not expect that they will be lifted immediately or it will be lifted in a month," Douhan added. "My purpose here, and the purpose of the country visit, is to analyse the situation and to bring the facts for the discussion of the world community." The hope for the future is that there may be more U.N. missions to Iran to help lift the nation out of a critical situation that has lasted for too long. "I know that the government,"she concluded, "is working with the UN to develop a cooperation program.