US treasury secretary says sanctions on Iran failed to achieve ‘ideal’ result

The Cradle, March 25, 2023 —

Janet Yellen acknowledged Washington’s hybrid warfare against Iran has created a ‘real economic crisis’ that affects everyday citizens.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week acknowledged that US sanctions on Iran have not succeeded in forcing Tehran to change its policies and behavior as demanded by Washington but still have managed to create a “real economic crisis.”

She added that the White House is looking to strengthen its sanctions further.

“Our sanctions on Iran have created real economic crisis in the country, and Iran is greatly suffering economically because of the sanctions … Has that forced a change in behavior? The answer is much less than we would ideally like,” Yellen testified before the US Senate during a hearing on President Biden’s proposed budget request for the Treasury for fiscal year 2024.

Yellen did not indicate what behavioral or policy changes Washington demanded from Tehran. However, her acknowledgment that US sanctions have created an economic crisis for Iran’s civilians comes after previous US claims to be concerned about Iran’s human rights record.

The US imposed further sanctions on Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September last year.

The 22-year-old Kurdish woman fell into a coma in the hours after being detained by the Moral Security Police in Tehran for the alleged improper wearing of the hijab.

Iranian opposition sources claimed Amini had been beaten to death by police, but an autopsy revealed she died from multiple organ failure caused by severe cerebral hypoxia.

Tehran has been able to keep its economy from collapsing despite US sanctions in part through increased oil sales in recent years, including to China, Iran’s biggest customer. To evade sanctions, most of Iran’s crude exports to China are rebranded as crude from other countries. This is done by forging documents for a “ghost fleet” of oil tankers to hide the Iranian origin of the oil cargo.

In March of this year, Iran’s oil exports reached their highest level since the Trump administration exited a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018.

US sanctions continue to inflict suffering on civilians in Syria and Iran.

Under the Caesar Act, US sanctions explicitly target Syrian efforts to rebuild the country following a devastating US-led war on Syria that began in 2011.

In 2021, Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on the impact of sanctions, said that the US sanctions are illegal and deprive Syrian civilians of their basic needs.

Douhan stated, “People shouldn’t die, people shouldn’t suffer, and people shouldn’t fear whether they can survive after tomorrow because they have neither medicine or food because of the sanctions applied.”

US sanctions on Syria remain in force despite continued calls to end them, especially in light of February’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Syria and Turkiye.

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