Wed, 25 Nov 2020

NEW YORK, New York - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the killing of American African George Floyd under US police custody to highlight the United States' treatment of Iran and said his country is grappling with the harshest sanctions in history imposed in "blatant and gross violation" of the United Nations charter.

Addressing the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, Rouhani outlined the US hostile policies towards Iran including very harsh sanctions. "Today is the time to say 'no' to bullying and arrogance. The era of dominance and hegemony is long over. Our nations and children deserve a better and safer world based on the rule of law," he said.

He said that Iran has suffered most due to the COVID-19 because instead of enjoying global partnership and cooperation during the pandemic, it is grappling with the harshest sanctions.

His remarks come a day after the United States slapped new sanctions on Iranian officials and entities after its effort to reimpose UN sanctions on Tehran over the weekend was largely rejected.

Some of those sanctions -- including against the Iranian Ministry of Defence and embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro -- were taken under a new executive order issued, which is aimed at deterring conventional arms transfers to Iran.

The new executive order was issued just days after the US said it unilaterally reimposed UN sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the Iran nuclear deal, according to CNN.

However, the efforts of the US were rejected by other members of the UN Security Council, who said that Washington does not have the legal authority to impose snapback sanctions as it had pulled out from the agreement.

"All of us across the globe are experiencing difficult times during the pandemic. However, my nation, the resilient people of Iran, instead of enjoying global partnership and cooperation, is grappling with the harshest sanctions in history imposed in blatant and gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations, international agreements and Security Council Resolution 2231," he said.

"The footage broadcast to the world concerning the treatment of an African American by the US police is reminiscent of our own experience. We instantly recognise the feet kneeling on the neck as the feet of arrogance on the neck of independent nations. For decades, the valiant Iranian nation has paid a similarly high price for its quest for freedom and liberation from domination and despotism," he added.

Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed man, died on May 25 after then officer Derek Chauvin used his knee on to pin Floyd to the ground. Chauvin had kneeled Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

His death led to widespread protests in the US against police brutalities in the country.

Rouhani said that Iran does not deserve sanctions as it was the first country in the region to stand with the people and government of Kuwait against occupation by Saddam (Hussein); it was Iran that foiled his dream of dominating all his former Arab allies. "Such a nation does not deserve sanctions. The response to peace is not war. The reward for combatting extremism is not assassination. The reaction to the choice of people through the ballot box in Iran,Iraq and Lebanon is not outside agitation and support for non-democratic processes and street riots," he said.

"For decades, the valiant Iranian nation has paid a similarly high price for its quest for freedom and liberation from domination and despotism. However, the Iranian nation has not only resisted the pressure but flourished and advanced while persistently pursuing its historical and civilisational role as the axis of peace and stability, the harbinger of dialogue and tolerance and the champion of the fight against occupation and extremism," he added. (ANI)

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