TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Several Iranian reformist newspapers on Monday published a rare joint editorial criticizing U.S. sanctions against the country and asking “world journalists” to defend Iranian human rights.
The editorial was published in both Farsi and English on Monday in at least eight state-owned and pro-reform dailies. It said the U.S. has “lied” about the purpose of sanctions, which target the needs of ordinary people and curtail access to medical supplies and equipment.
The joint editorial said that “trade restrictions, blockades, embargoes, freezing of assets and other economic sanctions are incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations.”
It called the U.S. pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran “an undiplomatic and immoral” policy. The agreement with world powers had established a protocol to limit Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.
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Iran is negotiating with European trading partners to try and find a way to circumvent U.S. sanctions and remain within the nuclear deal. The editorial is seen as part of efforts by Iranian reformists to address international public opinion ahead of the implementation of a new round of U.S. sanctions targeting oil in early November.
Hard-liners opposed to rapprochement with the West were always skeptical of the nuclear deal, and have viewed the withdrawal as proof of their longstanding belief that the U.S. cannot be trusted.
On Sunday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, tried to downplay the upcoming U.S. sanctions targeting the country’s vital oil and gas sector.
Also on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Tehran received a U.S. note confirming its withdrawal from a decades-old treaty affirming friendly relations between the two countries.
The Trump administration announced it would terminating the 1955 amity treaty earlier this month in response to a U.N. court order that the U.S. lift sanctions on Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said withdrawing from the treaty was long overdue and followed Iran “groundlessly” bringing a complaint with the International Court of Justice challenging U.S. sanctions on the basis that they were a violation of the pact.
The largely symbolic gesture highlighted deteriorating relations between Washington and Tehran.