News ID: 122712
Published: 0258 GMT July 18, 2015

US sanctions against Iran is collective punishment: Scholar

US sanctions against Iran is collective punishment: Scholar

US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program is a form of collective punishment and constitutes a “war crime” and demonstrates Washington’s profound ignorance on Tehran’s nuclear industry, an American scholar says.

“The opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal being expressed by members of the [US] Senate [demonstratesa profound ignorance of the history of the issue and of the nature of international law,” said James Henry Fetzer, a retired professor at the University of Minnesota who currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

“All 16 United States intelligence agencies concluded in 2007 that Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons,” Fetzer told Press TV on Saturday.

“According to the Geneva conventions of 1949, no person may be punished for a crime they did not personally commit, which means that the sanctions on Iran are a form of collective punishment, which under the Geneva conventions qualify as a war crime,” he added.

The United States and its allies have imposed illegal sanctions on Iran based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Following 18 days of marathon talks in Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear program, Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany -- reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Based on the nuclear conclusion, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions, including all economic and financial bans, against the Islamic Republic.

Most Republicans lawmakers oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran, but they need a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override a possible presidential veto, and to reach that threshold, Republicans need Democratic support.

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