Category Archives: Sanctions

G77, China call for immediate lifting of sanctions against Iran

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US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Representatives of the Group of 77 at the United Nations and China participate in a meeting in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 2014.

The Group of 77 (G77) and China have highlighted the negative effects of unilateral sanctions on the Iranian nation’s prosperity, calling for the lifting of the inhumane measures as soon as possible.

In a declaration issued on Thursday, the foreign ministers of the coalition of 134 developing countries plus China expressed their objection to the anti-Iran sanctions.

The statement followed the 44th annual meeting of the group, which was held via virtual platform.

“The Ministers reaffirmed their rejection of the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran, which have a negative impact on the development and prosperity of the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in this regard called for an immediate lifting of those sanctions,” the declaration read.

Iran has been under a series of illegal sanctions imposed by the US since 2018, when President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign and targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” restrictive measures.

In recent months, Washington has been tightening its oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic, defying warnings from Tehran and international human rights organizations that the restrictions are severely hampering the Iranian health sector’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Elsewhere in their statement, the G77 and Chinese foreign ministers hailed the JCPOA as an example of “a successful multilateral action for resolving outstanding global issues.”

“The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of supporting and strengthening multilateralism, and, in this regard, recognized that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the other parties is a concrete case of a successful multilateral action for resolving outstanding global issues, stressed that such model sets a real example for further accelerating the achievement of sustainable development including by strengthening international cooperation, through enhanced means of implementation,” they said.

The ministers further exchanged views on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the recent developments in the world and the particular challenges faced by developing countries in the economic, social and environmental areas.

They also stressed that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

US Pirates of the Caribbean

“American global power right now is seen as a farce. It has been devastated by a virus and shown to be a lying cheat over its attempt to smear China and the World Health Organization. Its sanctioning against nations struggling with a deadly disease is barbaric terrorism; and while millions of Americans are facing poverty, the US is sending warships and warplanes to all corners of the world.”
sputniknews.com
May 21, 2020

You have to be amused at this headline: “US masses planes at Japan airbase to show foes and allies it can handle coronavirus,” reports Reuters.

So, let’s get this straight. At a time when the US is leading the world with deaths and infections from the disease, the Pentagon views flexing muscles with warplanes in the Asia Pacific is somehow a demonstration of American potency.

While the American public is crying out for more resources to cope with the pandemic, Washington sees fit to ramp up militarism not just in the Asia Pacific, but also in the Arctic region, the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean.

US warships despatched to the Caribbean are said to be on a mission to counter-narcotic trafficking. Few people will buy that pretext. The military force is deployed as a threat to Venezuela and its socialist government which the Trump administration has openly targeted for regime change.

A failed coup attempt earlier this month involving a private US mercenary outfit may or may not have had official support from the White House.

But one thing is clear: when Russia proposed a statement of support for Venezuela at the UN Security Council this week in which the failed coup was denounced as a violation of the UN charter forbidding aggression, the draft statement was “killed” by Washington’s envoy.

The implication is that Washington’s public position sees nothing wrong with aggression despite the flagrant violation of international law that it involves.

In that case, it could be expected that the US will attempt to block Iranian oil tankers en route to Venezuela. If aggression is acceptable to Washington then why not also a bit of high-seas piracy?

Five Iranian-flagged tankers are due to dock in the South American country in the coming days. They are reportedly ferrying $45 million worth of gasoline to alleviate Venezuela’s crippled economy as it struggles like many other nations to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Venezuela is a major exporter of crude oil but due to US sanctions its capacity to refine fuel has been decimated. This has caused severe shortages for Venezuelan transport which has, in turn, exacerbated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both Venezuela and Iran have warned the US to not interfere in the sea passage of the oil tankers. Both countries have been burdened with American sanctions, but they are legally entitled to conduct bilateral trade. If US warships impede the transport, then it will be viewed by Venezuela and Iran as an act of piracy. We might add that the rest of the world will view it that way too. An act of piracy compounding acts of economic aggression under heartless US sanctions.

Given the pandemic crisis, Iran’s supply of vital fuel to Venezuela is not merely a normal trade transaction, but a courageous act of solidarity and humanitarian aid.

The Trump administration has mischievously indicated it will do something to stop the Iranian ships reaching Venezuela. What that something is open to guesswork. Will it use its warships in the Caribbean to mount a blockade?

Iran has warned it will retaliate. Perhaps by attacking American warships in the Persian Gulf, where skirmishing has already taken place.

Venezuela says it is sending naval forces to escort the Iranian tankers once they arrive in its territorial waters.

In the next coming days, a showdown awaits which could have explosive repercussions, not least because the Iranian tankers are reckoned to contain 1.5 million barrels of gasoline.

The US head of Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, this week played down the probability of an armed confrontation with the Iranian vessels.

He is quoted as saying: “You have to ask yourself what interest Iran has in Venezuela, where we have seen recent indications of Iranian military and state support?”

Eh, let’s guess Admiral Faller, maybe simply an act of solidarity by two nations who are under the boot of American imperialism and illegal sanctions that amount to a crime against humanity.

American global power right now is seen as a farce. It has been devastated by a virus and shown to be a lying cheat over its attempt to smear China and the World Health Organization. Its sanctioning against nations struggling with a deadly disease is barbaric terrorism; and while millions of Americans are facing poverty, the US is sending warships and warplanes to all corners of the world.Washington won’t dare do piracy in the Caribbean at this juncture. Because it can’t afford another fiasco. Its global image is already in tatters.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Trump Claims to Have Venezuela ‘Surrounded’ as Iranian Tankers Approach

Dear American government, you are scum, you are bloody scum for preventing a nation from eating and living just because they don’t want your corrupt system of thinking. Scum.

Venezuela’s armed forces will escort the vessels upon reaching territorial waters.

US President Donald Trump issued new threats against Venezuela on Wednesday.

“We’ve got it [Venezuela] surrounded, it’s surrounded at a level that nobody even knows but they know. We are watching to see what happens,” he warned during a conference call with Hispanic leaders.

The president’s remarks come amid escalating tensions over Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela.

Five Iranian tankers are en route to the South American country carrying at least US $45.5 million in gasoline and other products. According to maritime tracking data, the closest vessel, Fortune, is currently three days from port.

Washington is mulling unilateral sanctions aimed at halting the shipments, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Last month, Trump ordered the mobilization of US naval assets to the Caribbean in an “anti-drug” operation targeting Venezuela described as one of the largest military deployments in the region since the 1989 invasion of Panama. The US leader had previously threatened Venezuela with a naval blockade.

Caracas and Tehran have rejected US threats against the tankers, which are estimated to contain enough fuel to supply Venezuela for around 50 days.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez revealed that naval and air assets would escort the Iranian vessels upon entering Venezuela’s territorial waters.

Venezuela is currently suffering widespread gasoline shortages, with domestic production hamstrung by US sanctions prohibiting the import of vital diluents and spare parts needed to reactivate the country’s refining capacity.

Since 2017, the Trump administration has targeted Venezuela with crushing economic sanctions, including an oil embargo blocking fuel exports to the Caribbean country as well as a blanket ban on dealings with Venezuelan state entities.

In recent months, the US Treasury Department has imposed secondary sanctions on two affiliates of Russian energy giant Rosneft, which had been carrying up to 60 percent of Venezuela’s crude output in addition to supplying diesel and gasoline.

Following the departure of Rosneft, Tehran has stepped in to provide fuel as well as technical assistance in repairing Venezuela’s largest refinery, which has been offline since last year’s nationwide blackouts. The Trump administration has likewise threatened Iran over its technical air corridor to Venezuela, calling on other countries to suspend Iranian overflight rights.

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Featured image: Venezuelan ships and airplanes will escort the Iranian tankers once they enter Venezuelan waters. (Military Watch Magazine)

US Headed For Another ‘Tanker War’ With Iran – This Time Off Venezuela’s Coast

Up your sanctions America, this world does not belong to you alone.  Learn to share the planet ye greedy bastards!

Iranian state TV has announced at least five Iranian-flagged tankers are transporting fuel to Venezuela through the Atlantic Ocean and plan to break the American blockade on the Latin American country.

Iran has warned that any US attempt at intercepting its fuel tankers “would have serious repercussions for the Trump administration ahead of the November elections.”

File image via National Iranian Oil Tanker Company (NITC)

State-funded PressTV underscores that “Iran is shipping tons of gasoline to Venezuela in defiance of US sanctions on both countries in a symbolic move guaranteed by Tehran’s missile prowess.”

Both countries have been targeted under US sanctions and various levels of covert military action of late. President Trump has taken a personal interest in renewed pressure on Maduro, within the past months reportedly pushing his generals to go forward with a ‘naval blockade’ of the socialist nation.

State media has further emphasized that the Iranian fuel tankers will not attempt to conceal their presence or mission: “Iran has intentionally hoisted its own flag over the huge tankers which are navigating through the Atlantic before the eyes of the US Navy,” according to the report.

Reuters has also reported that US defense officials are planning a potential response:

The United States has a “high degree of certainty” that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is paying Iran tons of gold for the fuel, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is not only unwelcome by the United States but it’s unwelcome by the region, and we’re looking at measures that can be taken,” the official said.

The contentious issue of closer ties between Tehran and Caracas became center stage after in April a series of sanctioned Iranian Mahan Air flights landed in Venezuela to transport badly needed equipment to fix fuel refining plants for domestic gas consumption amid a severe national shortage.

Reuters Venezuela

@ReutersVzla

Exclusive: U.S. weighs measures in response to Iran fuel shipment to – source https://reut.rs/3btmGBD

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Beijing denounces ‘immoral’ US Senate bill threatening China with sanctions over Covid-19

Beijing has lashed out at US legislation which seeks to impose sanctions on China if it fails to cooperate with Washington’s investigation into the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill would require the president to notify Congress within 60 days that China had “provided a full and complete accounting” to any US-led probe into the coronavirus outbreak. The rule would also apply to investigations carried out by American allies and UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

The legislation also demands that China shutter all “wet markets” which can pose a risk to human health. It also calls for the immediate release of Hong Kong activists arrested during ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous territory.

If China fails to meet these criteria, the bill would authorize the president to implement far-reaching sanctions. Travel bans, asset freezes and other economic restrictions could be put in place.Zhao said that the proposed legislation was not based on facts or international agreements.

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“China has some live poultry markets, farmers’ markets, or seafood markets, which are not banned by international law,” he noted.

Washington continues to accuse Beijing of playing a nefarious role in the ongoing global health crisis. China has demanded evidence for such incendiary accusations, arguing that the Trump administration is simply trying to deflect attention away from its poor handling of the pandemic.