Nearly two weeks ago, the European oil embargo on Iran came into effect, five months after it was announced in January 23.
The EU’s unilateral embargo came hot on the heels of U.S. sanctions against Iran’s central bank and individuals and companies that do business with it.
Sanctions are not new for Iranians, however it is surprising that the U.S. and its European allies are intensifying the sanctions, tightening the noose around the ordinary Iranians, who are actually the silent victims.
International opinion on Iran’s nuclear program has been shaped by media coverage of Iran. After the painful 9/11 attacks and George W. Bush's initiation of the War on Terror, the corporate media began to disseminate anti-Iranian sentiment to demonize Muslims and Muslim-majority countries.
Iran was dubbed as one of the elements of the so-called Axis of Evil by President George W. Bush during his 2002 State of the Union address and a venomous media campaign against Iran was set in motion afterwards.
The Western media exaggerates Iran’s internal problems, its human rights record and it propagates the idea that Iran has become an isolated country. Such biased coverage laid the groundwork for the U.S. and its allies to apply sanctions on Iran and even open the door to rhetoric of military intervention and regime change in Tehran.
President Bush and his successor who came to power with a slogan of "change" identically pursued a policy of antagonism against Iran, although Obama had vowed to pursue reconciliation and détente with Iran.
On September 30, 2006, U.S. Congress ratified the Iran Freedom and Support Act which allocated $10 million to anti-Iranian groups both inside and outside the country, which were seeking to overthrow the Iranian government.
On May 27, 2007, The Daily Telegraph quoted intelligence sources as reporting that President Bush had given the CIA approval to launch covert "black" operations to achieve regime change in Iran. According to the British paper, Bush had signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a campaign of propaganda and disinformation intended to destabilize and eventually topple the Islamic Republic’s government.
Bush's plan also included covert support for terrorist groups such as Jundallah and the MKO, which over the past years have carried out several terrorist operations across Iran, claiming the lives of many civilians.
According to an ABC News report published on May 22, 2007, some former officials in the Bush administration who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that the U.S. government had designed plans to damage the Iranian economy.
They also revealed that the U.S. had authorized a $400 million covert operation to destabilize Iran, especially following the 2009 presidential election in which the defeated candidates claimed that the results had been rigged.
At the same time the Western leaders responsible for the sanctions hypocritically talk of friendship with the Iranian nation and state that they seek rapprochement with Iran.
In his March 2009 message to the Iranian people for Persian New Year (Nowrouz), the U.S. president praised Persian culture and civilization and sought to appeal directly to the people of Iran.
Then he addressed the leaders of Iran, saying, “We seek engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."
But by the end of the same year he has authorized the renewal of the long-standing U.S. financial sanctions against Iran, provoking a wave of anger and disappointment among the Iranians.
Western politicians, including President Obama, follow a modus operandi of divide-and-rule in Iran. They want to separate the government from people and pretend that they care for the interests of the Iranian people but oppose the policies of the government.
But the sanctions have targeted all the Iranians. They have hit hard Iran's medical sector. I've personally encountered patients who need medicine from European and north-American countries, but as a result of the sanctions, they are denied of them. Aren't such sanctions contrary to the principles of human rights? Why don't those who preach human rights and democracy take into consideration that banning the export of medicine to a country whose people are in dire need of such products is nothing but collective punishment.
Many Iranian citizens have been killed in air accidents, an indirect result of the U.S.-engineered sanctions against Iran. The U.S. sanctions have blocked European companies from selling aircrafts to Iran, leaving the country’s fleet in dangerous shape. The chancellor of Amir Kabir University of Iran said that the country needs at least 600 civilian aircrafts, but as no country will sell Iran this number, Iranians are forced to risk their lives on old planes.
The sanctions game will not produce a winner. Sanctions only serve to turn the Iranians against the U.S. and build up more and more hatred against the United States.
The article was published in Tehran Times on July 14, 2012