Javad Zarif Says U.S. Should be Held Responsible for 'Crimes Against Humanity'

Published November 9th, 2018 - 08:00 GMT
Iranian Foreigner Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  (AFP)
Iranian Foreigner Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (AFP)

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States should be held responsible for “crimes against humanity” it is committing against the Iranians as well as the Yemenis.

“The U.S. is to be held accountable for crimes against humanity re Iran & Yemen,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday. He was referring to America's sanctions against Iran and its support for the Saudi Arabia-led war on Yemen.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier told BBC Persian, “We have provided, we have accommodated the Iranian people with our sanctions, and it’s now the Iranian government’s responsibility to make sure that they do the right thing…It’s their job to do the right thing for their people.”

Back in May, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would pull America out of a 2015 multi-lateral nuclear accord with Iran. Accordingly on Monday, Washington announced that it had restored all the sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).


Iran, as well as other signatories to the JCPOA, have strongly criticized Trump for pulling out of the accord, stressing that the decision - as well as restoring sanctions against the Islamic Republic - were in violation of international law as well as the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council that envisaged lifting the bans on Iran after signing the JCPOA.

Elsewhere in his interview with BBC Persian, Pompeo had also claimed that “the challenge in Yemen is in large part the responsibility of the Iranian leadership,” repeating Washington’s allegation against Tehran of arming Yemen’s popular fighters -- which the Islamic Republic roundly rejects.

Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, invaded Yemen in 2015 with the support of the U.S. and its major European allies.

According to Yemen’s Health Ministry, more than 15,000 have died since the onset of the warfare. This is while various reports put the death toll far higher, stressing that a Saudi-enforced media blackout has prevented proper investigation into the number of the fatalities.

“Just as with Yemen, Secretary Pompeo blames Iran for unlawful U.S. sanctions preventing Iranians’ access to financial services for food and medicine,” Zarif said, adding, “Naturally, we will provide them for our people in spite of U.S. efforts.”

Pompeo had, however, claimed that none of U.S. sanctions prevented humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people.

Asked about Saudi Arabia’s role in bringing about the thousands-strong casualties in the impoverished country, Pompeo had alleged, “The Saudis have provided millions and millions of dollars of humanitarian relief.”

“The Saudis provide millions and millions of dollars – as do the Emiratis – to mitigate this risk and this harm,” the U.S. top diplomat had also noted.

‘Have you no shame?’

Zarif reacted by ironically tweeting, “You know what Secretary Pompeo? It's the Yemenis themselves who're responsible for famine they're facing. They should've simply allowed your butcher clients -- who spend billions on bombing school buses & "millions to mitigate this risk"-- to annihilate them without resisting.”

On August 9, a Saudi air raid hit a school bus as it drove through a market in the town of Dhahyan in the northwestern Yemeni Sa’ada Province, killing a total of 51 people, among them 40 children, and injuring 79 others, mostly kids.

The Iranian foreign minister incorporated #HaveYouNoShame at the bottom of the tweet.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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