TEHRAN (defapress)- Flash floods, heavy downpours and adverse weather conditions continue to wreak havoc in many parts of Iran, forcing massive evacuations and putting a lot of pressure on rescue and relief operations.
News ID: 76566
Publish Date: 02April 2019 - 21:18
In many rural communities, hundreds of people have been trapped and cut off by violent torrents of water. The Army, the IRGC and Basij volunteer forces are using many armored personnel carriers in order to speed up rescue operations in these inundated areas where road vehicles cannot be used.
The Air Force has also deployed its assets in places where heavy rains and strong winds have caused major damage to buildings and cars, as well as in other parts of the country. This is while emergency alerts and evacuation orders have been issued in several provinces and officials have warned of imminent flooding.
The Iran Meteorological Organization has warned that a new low-pressure system is expected to enter the country as early as Thursday, which means heavy downpours could once again cause the average level of rainfall in some parts of the country to more than triple during the weekend.
Just like any other place in the world, international aid efforts could make a huge impact on the ground for those who are still suffering, who are homeless, and at risk of new flash floods. The only problem is that Iran is under unilateral sanctions by the United States and this has made it impossible for other nations to come to Iran’s assistance at its darkest hour.
This has forced Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to condemn the United States for waging “economic terrorism” against the Islamic Republic by employing such restrictive measures that are troubling the relief efforts targeting flood-stricken people across the country.
In his words, “The sanctions are impeding aid efforts by Iranian Red Crescent to all communities devastated by unprecedented floods. Blocked equipment includes relief choppers. This isn't just economic warfare; it's economic terrorism.”
As such, the economic restrictions on humanitarian efforts are in broad violence of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 and the International Criminal Court of Justice ruling, which have both called on Washington to lift its illegal sanctions against Iran.
The ICJ, the UN’s principal judicial organ, has ordered in response to a lawsuit filed by Iran that the United States has to halt the unilateral sanctions it has re-imposed on "humanitarian" supplies. Washington’s refusal to relieve its bans flouts the fundamental norms of international law and international humanitarian law.
The Trumpsters should hold their heads in shame because this comes as countrywide flooding, unleashed by heavy downpours on Iran since March 19, has killed scores of people and has pushed relief and rescue organizations to the utmost.
This should stun no one. A just, rules-based global order has long been touted by the United States as essential for international peace and security. Indeed, there is a long history of Washington flouting international law while using it against other states.
The bans on humanitarian relief efforts is further evidence that the US has every intention to show contempt for international law. There is a long list just for the past 15 years – the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq without UN Security Council mandates, the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime through aerial bombardment, the aiding of a still-raging bloody insurrection in Syria, and the ongoing US-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen.
The US has refused to join a host of critical international treaties – ranging from the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to the 1998 International Criminal Court Statute. Now its policy of unilateral sanctions on humanitarian goods destined to the flood-hit areas of Iran mocks international law.
In this light, is it any surprise that the US’s moral authority and international standing have eroded? Is it any surprise that the US is still devaluing international institutions?