Tehran accuses Washington of ‘economic terrorism’ after US sanctions major Iranian banks
Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, has condemned US sanctions against Iranian banks as an act of economic terrorism, designed to create suffering and social unrest with the aim of regime change.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms, including state terrorism and economic and medical terrorism,” Takht-Ravanchi said at a meeting of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on Thursday evening.
He added that “to eradicate terrorism, once and for all, there is no choice but to use power and a multilateral approach and ensure close cooperation and coordination between the relevant stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels.”
According to the ambassador, imposing sanctions on Iran and other countries during the coronavirus pandemic is tantamount to terrorism, which has exacerbated general health conditions during the global crisis.
On Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury announced the blacklisting of 18 major Iranian banks in a new attempt to lock the nation out of the global financial system.
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It did not specify the accusations against most of the banks but said that 16 of them were targeted for what it termed “operating in Iran’s financial sector,” one for its links to an already sanctioned bank, and another for being a “military-affiliated” bank.
The Treasury said in a statement that it had “identified the financial sector of Iran’s economy as an additional avenue that funds the Iranian government’s malign activities.”
Additionally, the sanctions also target foreign companies that do business with the banks, giving them 45 days to cease such activities or face “secondary sanctions.”
The sanctions come weeks after the US declared the reimposition of UN sanctions on Iran, which had been lifted under a 2015 international deal relating to Iran’s nuclear program. Washington accused Tehran of having breached that agreement, but Iran has rejected all such accusations.
Meanwhile, other members of the UN Security Council do not agree with the US, saying Washington cannot trigger the snapback mechanism because it abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018.
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