The USAs Favorite Weapon: Sanctions Are Genocidal

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1850 ... June 20, 2019
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The USA’s Favorite Weapon: Sanctions Are Genocidal

Justin Podur

After withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran last year and resuming sanctions last November, the White House in April announced that its goal was to "drive Iranian exports to zero." To make this drive happen, the White House stopped allowing countries like India, China, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea to import Iranian oil: dictating to sovereign countries whom they can trade with.

The dictating doesn’t stop there. Last December the United States had Canadian authorities detain and imprison a Chinese executive, the chief financial officer of telecom company Huawei. Meng Wanzhou is currently being held in Canada for extradition to the U.S., on the allegation that her company violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. Not content with having told China that it cannot trade with Iran, the United States has gotten a third country, Canada, to take a Chinese corporate executive captive in what Trump suggested was leverage for a trade deal: "If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade... deal ever made, which is a very important thing -- what’s good for national security -- I would certainly intervene, if I thought it was necessary," he told Reuters in December.

The trade deal with China didn’t come through, and a "trade war" has begun. Meng Wanzhou is still stuck in Canada. And the blockade against Iran is still tightening. Economist Mark Weisbrot assessed some of the damage to the Iranian economy in a recent segment on the Real News Network, noting that when sanctions were imposed in 2012, oil production dropped by 832,000 barrels per day and GDP by 7.7 per cent; when they were lifted in 2016 in the nuclear deal, production increased by 972,000 barrels per day and GDP increased by 12 per cent that year. In 2018 when sanctions were imposed, oil production fell dramatically again and inflation rose by 51 per cent; shortages of dozens of essential medicines, according to a study at the University of California, have followed.

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