EU Economic & Financial Sanctions against Iran and their Human Rights Implications

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Regional Studies Department, Faculty of Law & Political Science, University of Tehran

Abstract

Since the advent of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the country has been continuously subject to severe sanctions by the Western countries, especially the United States. In all these years, the U.S. sanctions did not affect Iran’s economy much due to the fact that the two countries have no formal relations and consequently their economies are not, by any means, interdependent. However, Iran’s economy has been reliant on the interactions with the European countries and therefore the EU sanctions applied against Iran since 2011 have hit Iran’s economy harshly, with adverse social impacts. In the shadow of Iran’s dark image in the eyes of the world, one thing that is not given sufficient attention and remained overshadowed by the discussions on the impact and effectiveness of the sanctions is the severe human rights crises left by the EU sanctions. The key question here is what have been the human rights and humanitarian consequences of the EU sanctions for Iran and how serious they have been? As the author argues here, EU economic sanctions against Iran are considered to be violations of the three main generations of human rights and are therefore unwarranted. Given this, the resumption of sanctions since 2018 would lead to a human rights disaster. The effect of these sanctions will not affect the Iranian government but the civilians, especially the vulnerable, and they will undermine their human dignity.

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