UN rapporteur urges US to lift unilateral sanctions on Tehran
A UN special rapporteur to Tehran says applying extraterritorial sanctions on Iran or companies working with Tehran is illegal under international law.
Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights, slammed on Wednesday Washington over its sanctions imposed on Tehran, noting that the heavy economic sanctions have had a damaging impact on human rights in Iran.
Speaking at a press conference in the Iranian capital, Douhan pointed out that decades of sanctions have affected the Iranian people, especially the low-income section.
Douhan calls on US to abandon maximum pressure policy
Presenting her assessment of the unilateral coercive measures (UCM) against Iran, Douhan called on the US to abandon its policy of maximum pressure against the Islamic Republic and other countries.
Earlier this month, Douhan arrived in Tehran where she met with several civil society members, diplomatic figures, and representatives of financial centers.
The UN Special Rapporteur said she will address her concerns about the legality of the US sanctions in her final report that will be released later.
Applying extraterritorial sanctions illegal under international law
Douhan’s visit is the first to Iran by a UN special rapporteur.
She indicated that since the 1970s, the US has imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran and expanded them in the early 2000s.
The UN Special Rapporteur said when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, the United States imposed sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and several companies withdrew from the Iranian market.
According to Douhan, the US continues to illegally ban trade and investment in Iran, adding that this policy is forcing foreign companies to leave the country in fear of being sanctioned.
She also underscored that “applying extraterritorial sanctions on Iranian companies or companies working with Iran … is illegal under international law."
Unblocking frozen Iranian assets
Commenting on Iran's frozen assets, Douhan stressed the importance of unblocking the estimated $120 billion.
“I urge the states that have frozen the assets of Iranian Central Bank to immediately unfreeze Iran’s funds based on international law,” she said
In her press conference, Douhan also welcomed Iran’s efforts to support Afghan refugees.
“I call on the sanctioning states, particularly the US, to abandon the unilateral sanctions,” she mentioned.