Thursday, July 16, 2015

UN human rights expert hails nuclear deal with Iran, and calls for the immediate lifting of sanctions

GENEVA (14 July 2015) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and international sanctions, Idriss Jazairy, welcomed the nuclear agreement reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) announced today, and called for the various sanctions and unilateral coercive measures in force against Iran to be promptly lifted.

“In addition to international sanctions authorized by UN Security Council resolutions, Iran has been subjected for years to a range of additional, unilateral coercive measures decided by a number of States individually or in the framework of various regional organizations,” Mr. Jazairy said.

“The stockpiling of sanctions and unilateral coercive measures against Iran, some of which went well beyond what was required by the Security Council, has had a significant adverse effect on the country’s economy, its population and ultimately on the enjoyment of human rights of the people of Iran, including its right to food, its right to health and its right to development,” the expert noted.

The Special Rapporteur drew special attention to the “indiscriminate character” of measures such as the ban on the use of international interbank financial telecommunications, or of measures having the effect in practice of impeding access to medicine and medical treatment.

“When a group of diverse targeted unilateral coercive measures converge on the same country, the outcome may become a comprehensive coercive measure,” Mr. Jazairy explained, stressing the fact that “the superimposition of unilateral coercive measures on legitimate Security Council sanctions may distort the purpose of the latter, putting their initial balance out of kilter.”

The independent expert urged all countries which have imposed coercive measures on Iran to lift them promptly and with immediate effect, in line with the commitment contained in the agreement to comprehensively lift UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy.  

“I hope this is a vessel of a trend. We are witnesses of the fact that change is possible,” the Special Rapporteur said referring to the new developments on lifting sanctions and unilateral coercive measures. “I believe that this approach should be increasingly considered and that finally diplomatic negotiated settlements should be given prominence over unilateral coercive measures.”    

The UN Human Rights Council established the new Special Rapporteur’s mandate in September 2014, in response to increasing concern by the UN human rights system and the international community about the negative impact of sanctions, including unilateral coercive measures, on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly their negative impact on the human rights of the civilian population of targeted.


Mr. Idriss Jazairy was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He took office on 1 May 2015. Mr. Jazairy has extensive experience in the fields of international relations and human rights with the Algerian Foreign Ministry, the UN human rights system and international NGOs. He holds a M.A.(Oxford) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and an M.P.A. (Harvard). He also graduated from the Ecole nationale d’Administration (France). Mr. Jazairy is the author of books and of a large number of articles in the international press on development, human rights and current affairs. Learn more, log on to:
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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