Economic Sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Human Rights Perspective
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Islamic Republic of Iran has always exposed to various international sanctions due to different reasons and excuses. They put Iran under different sanctions directly or indirectly through international organizations, under the pretext of creating an international order. As matter of fact, they pursue their own foreign policy goals and use sanctions as a means to achieve those goals.

Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Islamic Republic of Iran has always exposed to various international sanctions due to different reasons and excuses. They put Iran under different sanctions directly or indirectly through international organizations, under the pretext of creating an international order. As matter of fact, they pursue their own foreign policy goals and use sanctions as a means to achieve those goals.



It is about 35 years that Iran is tolerant of economic and non- economic sanctions, with somehow serious effects and impacts on people’s life. Based on the sanctions type and according to their nature, severity, they affect society and peoples. In this article, we will try to discuss the impact of these sanctions on primary and fundamental human rights of Iranian population. No


the question is, whether the countries imposing sanctions against Iran are human rights violators and surpass human right regulations through these sanctions?


It’s the question that this paper try to provide an answer for, and since the sanction on a general definition is a reciprocal action against illegal and unlawful acts aimed at stopping the unlawful acts of the country whom subject to sanctions, is it proper to use these excuses and ignore human rights laws and regulations, and to just overlook it??


Usually sanctions affects those who are living in the penalize nation and have no impact on outsiders; even in some cases increase their economic interests [for example, the actual price of boycotted goods multiplied due to sanction on the black market]. But the sanctions ban put pressure on people and cause some restrictions and constrained. Even if boycotting country suffer some financial burden due to imposing sanctions on other country, the sanctions expenditure is low in comparison with the cost of armed conflict,


So, they avoid high cost military actions with Sanctions1. It’s worth mention that the number of peoples who have lost their lives as a result of economic sanctions after the Cold War is greater than the number of those who died in the history of the use of weapons of mass destruction2.


We try to figure out the inconsistency of sanctions imposed on Islamic Republic of Iran with the international standards of human rights and it will be discussed in more detail in the next sections. We will continue with goals and aims of sanction and their definition, and then investigate sanctions that imposed on Iran. We will discuss laws and regulations that violated due to implementation of these sanctions.


1 Gary Clydes, Huf Bauer and others, Economic Sanctions reconsidered: history and policy.

2 John Muller, Karl Muller, Economic Sanctions: a mass destruction weapon, Translated by Azarnia, Tarjoman Eghtesad, second year, 1378, p: 43.


The usual targets of sanctions

In the international relationships arena, states as the main actors in this field, using different and various tools to achieve their goals. Governments do not always state their goals clearly and explicitly, and by the failure of diplomacy they move towards sanctions to achieve their set foreign policy objectives.


Among which may be mentioned the war and diplomacy, in this cases in which countries diplomacy have failed, sanctions are their next step. One of the types of sanctions is economic sanctions, which some Scholars have interpreted it as an economic weapon1. In this context, it should be noted however, that Sanctions are not always impact only sanctioned country, but in many cases, the sanctioning country or countries experience some economic burden due to these sanctions.


Sanction definition (International)

There are numerous definitions for sanction; here we are trying to recite some of these definitions from law point of view:


Sanctions are punitive and retaliatory measures taken internationally, typically in the form of restrictions on political, economic or on trade in order to coerce another nation to make changes in its policies and objectives, so, sanction is a response and negative reaction of countries and the international community to the country which for whatever reason, is committing or attempting to commit illegal action. And sanctions or the threat of punishment is the results of declaring the issue of sanctioned country failure in following its international obligations and standards. Another definition that can be given, it's a result of the failure of sanctions targets (country) on compliance with international standards or international obligations, the Sanction is imposed as penalty or threatened to impose (penalties).

In all these cases, the sanctions are punishment considered within the scope of international law, which applies sanctions in response to violations of international issues and have variety of type, severity, and dimensions.

In general, from the international law point of view, when a state commits implied threat, breach or violation to international peace and security, in order to deal with it after the failure of diplomacy, and before the use of force, countries impose sanctions against that country. There are a total of four known and applicable sanctions, which include:

International criminal prosecution which is the latest sanctions and in 1993, the UN Security Council in a courageous act defined this type of sanction in the shadow of establishing the International Criminal Court for individuals responsible for war crimes (serious crimes in violation of international humanitarian

Severing of Communications, which disrupt and prevent the freedom of communication and communication by telephone, telegraph, mail, Internet, and sea, air and land delivery; Economic sanctions (trade embargo), which is the most common sanction that applied frequently and in this paper We will Describe it; Military Sanction (Arms embargo), usually applies in response to military threats and breaches of international peace and security.


Definition of economic sanctions (International)


We has been trying to offer a comprehensive and legal definition for sanctions in a general sense, but here's the definition of economic sanctions, one of the common international sanctions, which is evaluated again from a legal perspective.


Economic international sanctions are international enforcement of preventive measures applied against one or several countries in an attempt to coerce policies change, or at least indicate the opinion of countries Imposing sanctions about different policies.

Another definition, economic sanctions are a form of restrictions that countries impose on international trade as a means to achieve its foreign policy goals2 . In Executive Order No. 1270 of Jimmy Carter, President of United States, about economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, sanctions is defined as follow:

Economic sanctions are negative measures, which seek to influence the country through threats (to impose penalties), and if necessary, the imposition of penalties for non-compliance with the law.

Given the above definitions, and current practices of international economic sanctions, economic sanctions are an economic tool, which restrict trade and sell goods to countries subject to sanctions, in order to achieve foreign policy objectives in one or more countries, or to ensure obedience for international standards. But current trends in sanctions suggest that, countries further sanctions to achieve its foreign policy goals and exerting pressure on countries, In order to compel them to comply with the policies they use, not in order to maintain order and obedience for international standards.


Islamic Republic of Iran and the international economic sanctions


Sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran can be divided into three broad categories; United Nation sanctions, European Union comprehensive multilateral sanctions and United States Unilateral Sanctions. It should be noted here that the first sanctions were imposed on November 14, 1979 by the United States of America against Iran after capture of spy’s house. This trend continued against Iran after that event, and took more dimensions, and some sanctions imposed by Europe and the UN Security Council. This discussion is continued by evaluation of economic sanctions applied in pursuant to Security Council resolutions, and end by the sanctions imposed by the United States of America and the Union of Europe; the sanctions imposed by other countries against Iran will be discussed at the end of this section.


A – UN Security Council resolutions


All resolutions issued by the UN Security Council which has been issued against Iran according to Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and its focus on Iran's peaceful nuclear and missile tests, which is considered dangerous for international peace and security.


1 ‐ Resolution 1696

The first resolution against Iran was passed by the UN Security Council on 31 July 2006. This resolution contains 10 Paragraphs, and includes economic and non- economic sanctions, and at the fifth paragraph of the Resolution is related to subject of this paper; article 5 of the resolution expresses that:


Article 5) Calls upon all States, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and prevent the transfer of any items, materials, goods and technology that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic missile programmes,


2 ‐ Resolution 1737

The second resolution against Iran was adopted at the UN Security Council on 27 December 2006. The resolution contained 25 paragraphs and 5 Appendix. In parts of Articles 3, 4 and 9 of the resolution, limitations are imposed against Iran, the content of which is as follows:


Article 3 ) Decides that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their territories, or by their nationals or using their flag vessels or aircraft to, or for the use in or benefit of, Iran, and whether or not originating in their territories, of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems,


Paragraph (d) of Article 3) any additional items, materials, equipment, goods and technology, determined as necessary by the Security Council or the Committee established by paragraph 18 below (herein “the Committee”), which could contribute to enrichment-related, or reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;


Paragraph (b) of Article 4) any other items that was not listed in documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/815, if the issuer determines that such items, activities related to enrichment, reprocessing or heavy water, and will contribute to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems;


Paragraph (c) of Article 4) Every kind of items and other goods as of the exporting country, The pursuit of activities related to other topics about which the IAEA has expressed concerns or has identified as outstanding as they will help.


Paragraph 6 of Article 4) decides all States shall took measures needed to avoid providing any technical contribution or training, financial assistance, investment, intermediation and other services and transfer of financial resources or services related to the supply, sale, transfer, production or use of items, materials, equipment, goods and forbidden technology that set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 above.


Article 9) Decides that the measures imposed by paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 above, where the Committee in advance and on a case to recognize that such supply, sale, transfer, provision of such items or assistance clearly (definitely) will not help to develop technologies associated with sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, do not apply, especially where such items or assistance are in relation to food, agricultural, medical or other humanitarian purposes, provided that

(A) Contracts for the delivery of such items or assistance include appropriate safeguards for the (identity) of the final consumer, and


(B) Iran has committed not to use such items in proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or for development of nuclear weapon delivery systems used in battle.


3 ‐ Resolution 1747


The third resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran is resolution 1747, which the UN Security Council adopted on 24 March 2007. It consists of 14 articles and 2 attached resolution and contain sanctions and involving incentives as well for Iran's cooperation. Most of these sanctions and bans are around military equipment and nuclear energy. However, in Article 7 of the resolution, payment or guarantee of any financial assistance or loans to Iran has been banned, although these prohibitions are against principles and documents of international human rights. Article 7 of the resolution is as follows:


7- All countries and international financial institutions urges not to grant any financial help or new loans to Iran, unless for the purposes of humanitarian and development needs.


4 ‐ Resolution 1803


Resolution 1803 is the fourth resolutions of UN Security Council's series of resolutions against Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution has been approved on March 3, 2008, a year after the adoption of resolution 1747 and included twenty article and three appendixes. In Article 9, the resolution calls for countries to remain alert to trade and trade-related services to the Islamic Republic of Iran, But in the latter part of this clause banning trade in goods or services that may relate to the proliferation of sensitive nuclear activities or nuclear weapons have been asked about, but the lack of transparency in commodity instances actually made that states the restrictions and prohibitions extend to all products. Article IX of the resolution is as follows:


9. Calls upon all States to exercise vigilance in entering into new commitments for providing financial support for trade with Iran, including the provision of export credits, bails or insurance, to their nationals or organizations that are involved in such trade, to avoid the financial help for the possible proliferation of sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, such as those referred in resolution 1737 (2006)


5 ‐ Resolution 1835


The resolution passed on 27 September 2008, a very short and concise repeater and recalls its previous resolutions and the sanctions are not new.


6 ‐ Resolution 1929


The last resolution against Iran's nuclear program was No. 1929, passed on 9 June 2010 by the UN Security Council. This resolution is made up of 38 article and 4 attachments. In this document, in addition to all sanctions and restrictions of previous resolutions, all countries have been asked to monitor and take care of banking procedures with Iran, and this time the Central Bank of Iran was included in the sanctions. But they announce harder and newer economic sanctions and restrictions that listed in the paragraphs 8, 21, 23 and 24; these paragraphs are as follows:


8 - Decides that all States shall banning the provision of refueling services, such as provision of fuel or supplies, or other services to vessels owned by or in contract with Iran, Including ships licensable by their nationals or by their territory; provided that there are reasonable grounds for believing the information that the cargo contains items that their supply, sale, transfer or export prohibited under paragraphs 3, 4 or 7 of resolution 1737, paragraph 5 of resolution 1747 or by paragraph 8 of resolution 1803, or paragraph 8 or 9 of this resolution; Unless provision of such services is necessary for humanitarian purposes or until the cargo inspection, seizure and, if necessary, be set aside; (UN Security Council) emphasizes that the purpose of this paragraph is not any impact on economic activity;


21 - Calls upon all States, in addition to their administrative duties pursuant to resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803, or the present resolution; to prevent contests of financial services, including insurance and reinsurance, transfer any property or funds through their nationals or from their territories or through functions or organizations that were organized under the laws (including branches abroad) or persons or financial institutions in their territory, provided information that such services, assets or resources could be sensitive in nuclear activities or can help the development and diffusion in the context of carrying nuclear weapons systems. It can work by blocking any financial assets or other assets or resources on their territories or assets that it falls within the scope of their authority and dependent to such programs or activities. And adopt more oversight to prevent such interactions in accordance with their national authorities and legislation;


23- Calls upon all States to take appropriate measures to prevent the opening of branches, subsidiaries or representative offices of the new Iranian banks on their territories and also prohibit Iranian banks from opening joint stock companies or property to prevent banks from establishing or maintaining a connection with, thus impeding financial services are provided. Provided that there is precise information that helps sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.


24- Countries will be required to take appropriate measures to operate, so that financial institutions in their territory of under their rule cannot open branches or representative offices or subsidiaries or open banking accounts in Iran, provided that there is information stating that these services can help in Iran's sensitive nuclear activities or in expanding or developing nuclear weapon delivery systems.


In all the above cases; trade, commerce and transportation of goods as well as services related to transactions with persons or entities from Iranian nationals were prohibited and even in some cases, these materials are considered exceptions and provisions to implement the sanctions. In practice, all of the exceptions are ignored and the general prohibition applies to all.


B ‐ Europe Union sanctions


On 27 July 2010, the European Union attempted to impose strike coordination economic sanctions against Iran, The sanctions include a ban on foreign trade, financial services, energy and technology sectors, including a ban on insurance and reinsurance companies owned by the Iranian government and Iranian who Approved by European insurance companies . And again the Europe Union foreign ministers on January 23, 2012 decided to sanctions the new contracts to import crude oil and petroleum products from Iran as well as current contracts from 1 July 2012.


SWIFT Sanctions


On March 17, 2012, in the wake of two days before the agreement took place between the 27 EU member states, and unjustified decision of the Council of Europe, Swift banking network (SWIFT), the global center Of financial electronic communication, discontinued all Iranian banks with international financial networks due to Europe Union decision that they had violated the current sanctions and Iran failure to comply with its international obligations and Full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in relation to its nuclear program and its continual. In this regard and in accordance with the Council conclusions of 1 December 2011, the Council agreed resonance stringent measures in the energy sector, including a phased embargo of Iranian crude oil imports to Europe, in the financial sector, including the Central Bank of Iran, in the transportation sector, as well as additional restrictions on exports and notably on gold and sensitive goods and technologies with dual- use, additionally more designated persons and entities specified in (a role) including those controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.


Europe Union countries decided to order the Swift Financial Network based in Brussels to 25 Iranian banks in their blacklist are excluded from this service, and also including Iran's central bank cut off from the network and the services.


Europe Union sanctions focused on reduction of public and government revenues of Iran by prohibiting the sale of Iranian oil. This is considering that oil has a stake in the countries per capital income; affect the country's development, livelihoods, health and well-being of individuals and the other.


C ‐ Sanctions of United States of America


United States of America is known throughout the world as the leader and pioneer in the application of economic sanctions for foreign policy consideration. During the Cold War, Communism came to an excuse for the sanctions and the subsequent human rights issues; from the 80s onwards issues such as the threat of terrorism, drugs and the spread of weapons of mass destruction form the fields of sanctions.


As mentioned above, the Islamic Republic of Iran is among the countries which have been affected by economic sanctions of US and it was first imposed in 1979 against Iran, Below are a list of sanctions issued by the United States against Iran:


1. Executive Order 12170 by President Carter in America, in November 1979 have blocked about $12 billion in assets in America, including bank deposits, gold and other property. This situation has continued until now.


2. United States of America increase sanctions against Iran in 1984, in the course of this sanction, selling arms and aiding Iran by America banned. United States also opposed loans to Iran from international financial organizations.


3. In October 1987, Reagan issued Executive Order 12613 banning the import and export of any goods or services from Iran.


4. President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12957 which trade was banned in the United States in connection with Iran's oil industry.


5. In May 1995, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12959 which banned all type of trade with Iran.


6. In 1996, Iran - Libya Sanctions Act was approved by US Congress. Under this law, all foreign companies (non-US) whom invest more than $20 million in the development of Iranian petroleum resources, will experience the following seven penalties:


Refusal bank recapitalization export - import;


Denial of export licenses for the export of faulty firms;


Prohibition on loans or credits in excess of $10 million in the 12 month period from United States financial institutions,


Prohibition of office by an agent for the United States government debt securities;

Prohibition tenure as represented by the United States or to the United States as treasurer for investment;

Waiver of shopping opportunities (consistent with WTO obligations); Ban imports of all or part of the company's breach.


7. In June 2005, President George W. Bush’s executive order 13382 ask to confiscate the assets of individuals linked to Iran's nuclear program.


8. On June 24, 2010, United States of America Senate and the House of Representatives approved "the comprehensive sanction Iran, Accountability and Divestment 2010 (CISADA2 )"; the President of America on July 1, 2010 signed it as a law. In law (CISADA), prohibitions and restrictions have been issued against Iran and many Iranian nationals among which may include revocation of license restrictions on imports of Iranian descent items such as carpets, caviar, and pistachios.


9. Banking restrictions on Iranian financial institutions are barred them from directly accessing the United States financial system.


United States of America all sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran does not end with the cases discussed above, and there are many other items that are not mentioned here, especially the state sanctions in which each state for itself and beyond the federal laws impose sanctions against Iran3 .


Sanctions from other countries


In addition to the above coordinated sanctions, some countries that pursuant to the United States and some European countries, unilaterally and beyond the international consensus adopt sanctions against Iran, some of them are pointed out below.


Canada has attempted to impose a series of sanctions against Iran. They include a ban on trading assets of identified Iranian individuals, arms embargo, oil refining equipment, items that may be used in Iran's nuclear program, Iranian financial institutions, including the establishment of any branch, agency or office in Canada and vice versa. Investment in oil and gas sector, interbank relations with Iranian banks, buy bonds from the government and at the end of the list was prohibition of service or renting ships to IRISL Company.


Japan has imposed sanctions against Iran include a ban on some Iranian banks, investment ban on Iran's energy sector, to freeze the assets of individuals involved in Iran's nuclear program. In January 2012, a second major customer for Iranian oil announced picks steps to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil.


South Korea has imposed sanctions on 126 Iranian firms and the real person . South Korea and Japan together account for 26 % of Iranian oil exports.


Military equipment sales, two timing items, products that may be used in Iran's oil and gas industry is banned by Swiss. As well as investment and financial services in the above sectors. Finally, the pressure of the United States of America on Bank of Turkey, Turkish Halk Bank's dismissal of Bank of America’s financial system in the event of non- compliance with the sanctions in March 2012 decreased 20% to buy oil from Iran. There are many other sanctions that is not possible to mention all here due to dispersion.


Human Rights


Definition of human rights and its instances


Max Plank Encyclopedia of Public International Law define Human Rights as: Human rights is individuals and groups right that conversed by [the law] and known by some of the international conventions, treaties, declarations, or in addition to customary international law. They include civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, the rights of minorities and people. Today, together with the superior branch of international law and international humanitarian law holds that different form of international human rights law or international human rights law is known. Elsewhere, human rights and human rights treaties referred to in the definition of the way in which the definition of a human rights treaty, saying the treaty that contains the rules for the protection of the fundamental rights of the human being .


Generally speaking, we can say that human rights is a right and privileges that belong to every human being naturally and in the view of religion, human rights are rights of human being since the man is received it from God.


Three generations of human rights


First generation: civil and political rights and freedoms


The subject matter of the rules of civil and political rights and obligations erga omnes, the so- called first generation human rights, in the sense that such rights cannot be limited under any circumstances, the rules governing these rights are imperative nature of jus cogens and obligations that arise from these rules are egra omnes obligations.


These rights are fundamental human rights that include rights to life, the right to non-discrimination, the right to physical integrity, the right to liberty, right to the outrageous behavior of torture, inhuman or offensive behavior and so on.


The second generation: economic and social rights

Economic and social rights are classified as human rights belonging to the second generation. Rights such as the right to education, the right to benefit from affordable housing, health care, labor rights, and the right to benefit from the minimum livelihood are examples of this generation human rights.


The third generation: right to environment, the right to peace, right to development

These rights are aggregated in nature and include rights like the right to a healthy environment, the right to peace and the right to development.

The rights belongs to the third generation are the people’s rights and not the individual rights.


A - Right to Life and Living


The most important human right is the right to life as guaranteed by law and is supported by the present law. Right to life is a fundamental right of all human rights arises. Right to Life are in a higher status than all other rights. This right have been highlighted and confirmed in international treaties and documents as below:

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and personal security.


Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of the right to life and self.


Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child


1) Every child has the right to life and this is an inheriting right, which is recognized by all member states pledge.


2) The survival and development of children is fully guaranteed by the government whom signatory to this treaty.


A captive Islamic Declaration of Human Rights Article 18 states that: Every man has a right to the life, faith, family, honor their financial affairs, to live in comfort and Article 2 of Islamic Declaration of Human Rights says:


Paragraph A) Life is a gift from God, and a right that is guaranteed to every man and it is essential for all individuals, communities and governments to support this right and stand against any invaders and is not permitted to kill anyone without legal authorization.


Paragraph C) The preservation of human life, wherever duty is to God's providence.


* In the A and C paragraph of this Article, Almighty God is the source of life and keeping life is mentioned both as a right and as a duty. In addition to the life of a man is right, it is a duty.


It’s an inheriting right, it means that others have no right to remonstrate against it; can’t took it from a person unless there is a legal and canonical justification.


That is the duty of both the individual and others, they required to preserve and protect it.


According to Article 4 of the Covenant, this general reservation is against the object and purpose of the Covenant. Article 4 banned the violation of Article 6, even at a time of public emergency which threatens the life of a nation and its status has been officially announced.


Non‐ violating rights


Now the question is remain, when a suspension of fundamental rights (e.g. the right to life ) is forbidden, even for a temporary period ( Article 4, paragraph 2, of the Covenant ), how can we make limitation on these rights with the imposition of sanctions?


Right to life cannot be a departure from the common law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention and the American Convention on Human Rights.


This evidence represent the fact that right to life is a basic human rights, and it's violated by the United States of America by sanctions against Iran Aircraft Industries.


U.S. Department of Commerce passed on the anti- terrorism surveillance program on March 30, 1984 against Iran and as a result, exports of aircraft, helicopters and its parts were banned.


This unilateral sanction against Iranian Airlines cause different technical defects and airliners crashed in Iran, we will give a brief description of them:


According to reports from Iranian news agencies, there are 17 air accidents over the past 25 years in Iran and about 1,500 people have been killed. Reports added that the prices of raw materials and components, increased wear and insecure flights are the impacts of sanctions against Iran.


The witness to this claim is Report A36-WP/275 which was reported in the 36th meeting of the international civil Aviation organization (ICAO). The body and conclusions of this report emphasize that the United

States sanctions on Iran have been posed a great risk to the safety of passenger flights. Because Iran's access to parts and service necessary for a safe flight is prohibited. The report also declares that flight safety is Very important for human life and human rights, and it is beyond any political differences or conflicts .


The report citing a technical problem that has been identified by the technical experts of the organization and declared that reported in Section 2.3 as follow:


“The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) quick rundown identified that United States of America sanctions against the Islamic Republic is a threat to the safety of passenger flights. This finding of ICAO cause guilty feeling in everyone who have been committed this action on the safety and security of airliner and air transport.”


B - Right to Development


UN General Assembly in 1979, with emphasis on the “right to development is a human right” and emphasize that “equal opportunities in development is priority for the United Nations and its constituent States”, has taken great strides in this way. In 1986, another resolution , the General Assembly as a natural consequence of the first chapter, emphasis on developing tasks for governments: the duty to work together to ensure the development and promotion of international development policy.


State sanctions could also be considered as a violation of the right to development. Right to development was recognized as a universal right and integral part of fundamental human rights in the Vienna Declaration and Programmed of Action on June 25, 1993. Paragraph 4 of Resolution Human Rights Commission as “human rights and unilateral sabotage acts”, explicitly stated that any restrictions, blockades, bans on trade and assets are listed as sabotage act which is a human right violation crime (Resolution of March 4, 1994)


In most of the economic sanctions listed, all prohibitions and restrictions are directly or indirectly affects in order to prevent or even reduce the country's development and when the country's international trade and economic exchange and knowledge services is prohibited, it will lead to problems in the development of the country.


C‐ The right to own


The right of ownership is a right that have been violated repeatedly by the economic sanctions against Iran. In many of the aforementioned sanctions, Iranian citizens have been deprived of this known right. These rights are included in the documentation of human rights, and Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was one important case of them, which stated:


Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:


A. Every person has the right to own property individually or socially and otherwise. B - No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of property right.

Two points rose in this article, the human being has the right to own property, and certainly none of the human being can be fully deprived of his property; which both of them were violated in economic sanctions against Iran. The Iranian people themselves have been observance of denied ownership of many items and their property has been seized and confiscated and it has deprived them of the right to own.


D ‐ Right to work and livelihood


Right to work and right to livelihood is well known in our times and guarantee the survival of any community. Unfortunately however, this right was violated in the shadow of frequent economic sanctions, which is as important point in the mankind literature and has been emphasized in many international treaties.


Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarded right to work and livelihood as:


All peoples may, for their own purposes, without prejudice to the obligations arising out of international economic cooperation based on the principles of mutual benefit, and international law, free (was signed) of their wealth and natural resources. In no case can a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.


And in paragraph A of Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to work, states:


Everyone has the right to work, free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to should be under protection against unemployment.


Islamic Declaration of Human Rights affirms this right and stated explicitly in its Article 14 that: Man has the right to legitimate gains without monopolization, deceit or harm to self or others.

As you can see, right to work and livelihood have been accepted in most of the international literatures without any condition and clause, but again, unfortunately in the sanctions imposed against Iran, it is generally not considered and prohibitions business with Iranian nationals and avoid providing any services, transportation and Banking and financial aids to Iran and Iranian nationals are examples of violation of the these rights, directly and indirectly.


E. Right to Welfare and Health


Economic sanctions have deteriorating effects on peoples’ health, due to its impact on public and private health care costs, the cost of these services, shifts in actual revenues, decreased access to primary health care; So, it is endanger your health. The relationship between health and the economy of a country is well studied and the two are necessarily interdependent. Sanctions on the government's ability to import essential commodities will affect the purchasing abilities of households. In term of acceptance in the international documents, paragraph 25 of the Declaration on the Human Rights States:


Everyone has the right to the life, health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and also has the right in the event of unemployment, sickness, amputation and malformation of extremities, widowhood, old age or all other causes beyond the will of man, he has lost means of subsistence; the right to live in decent conditions.


This right has been recognized in Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, the Article 17; paragraph (B) which decide as follows:


Every human society and the state are responsible for the health and social security through the creation of public health facilities according to their power and available resources.


UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Interpretive Theory No. 8 entitled “The relationship between economic sanctions and respect for economic, social and cultural rights” requires:


“While the majority of sanctions varies from case to case, the Committee is aware that these sanctions are almost always have significant effect on the recognized rights in the Covenant. Hence, for example, often cause major disruption in the distribution of food, medical and hygiene items, and food quality and access to clean drinking water and endangers the functioning of health systems and education, and would undermine the right to work” .


E ‐ Equal rights and non‐discrimination

In some cases, human rights are accepted and recognized, but this law does not apply to all people equally and the same, and issues such as citizenship, nationality, race, color, religion, social and so on is Ideal excuse lead to some people cannot benefit from their recognized human rights. Therefore, in the sanctions imposed against Iran, Iranian nationals regardless of their Iranian citizenship are excluded from benefit and enjoyment of many recognized human rights; the instances of discrimination and lack of equality. International instruments which cover issue of discrimination and inequality are as follow, however, only the most important and effective documents are listed here, there is not enough opportunity to mention all such documents.


Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, are endowed with reason and conscience and should encounter one another in a spirit of brotherhood.


Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Any one will benefit from all the rights and freedoms listed in this Declaration without any distinction, especially as race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, nationality, social status and wealth, birth or any other status.


Furthermore, no distinction shall be on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, protectorate, or non-self-governing or under any authority limitation.


Paragraph 1 of article 2 of Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article II, Section 1 the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural hereof equally have used same text and say about non-discrimination:


All States Parties to this Convention have an obligation to respect and observe the rights specified in the Convention to all persons legally residing in their territory and its citizens, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion, other opinion, national or social origin, property, and other conditions.


Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 26 on non-discrimination law says:


All persons are equal before the law, should be protected equally by the law. The law should prevent any discrimination and provide protection to all persons equally and in an effective manner to establish and guarantee justice and fairness in all situations, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or ancestry, or any other situation.


International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid stated that:


Including any legislative measures and other measures that keeps the group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic, cultural activities and deliberately to avoid situations such group or groups are created, specifically exclude members of a racial group or groups from their human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form trade unions, right to education, the right to leave and return home, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement, right of residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association.


Finally, in Paragraph B of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Islamic Human Rights on equality and non-discrimination, noted that:


All human beings are like God's family, and the most beloved to God is the one who brings the most benefit to their type. No one has any superiority over another except by piety and good deeds


F- Self determination


Humans and communities have the right to self - determination in political, social, cultural, economic aspects and assume their own fate, no longer any excuse accepted for fade or disturbing images, Here, economic sanctions with ban on the trade and dealing with people of a particular society, makes the economic, social and objectives relevant to the demands of foreign powers imposed sanctions which is contrary to the principle of self-determination of peoples and nations, some of the root causes of this ban can be found in the documentation of these rights:


The first paragraph of the first Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to be respected and noted that their citizens have a right to economic and political issues of his own rule, the text of this article is as follows:


All nations have the right to autonomy and by virtue of this right; their political status and economic, social and cultural development are freely determined by themselves.


The principle of “sovereignty over natural resources” has been approved repeatedly in General Assembly of the United Nations and other international documents, and even the 1974 Declaration on the rights and responsibilities of the state, economy based on the principle of freedom and self-determination of nations and the international community and each of your opponent’s choice of open international trade

Left . And further, all people can reach their goals of wealth and use their own natural resources for this


Purpose, provided that there is not any prejudice to the obligations arising out of international economic co-operation and in accordance with international law, common interests and free trade. For the purposes of the UN which is the international peace and security, all members not only cannot use force or threat in their international relations, but also committing any acts that would undermine international cooperation should be avoided.


G‐ right on feed and food


The right to food and nutrition is essential and fundamental human rights, it is not possible for him to survive and live without this right, so such rights is undeniable. We can’t deprive any human kind from these justified rights, unless the target is destruction and suffering and torture of human. The right to food and nutrition are highlighted in numerous international conventions and documents, including Article 17 of the Declaration of Islamic Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Commission resolution.


According to Paragraph C of Article 17 of the Islamic Human Rights, the government has an obligation to meet the family’s basic needs, including food and other guarantees. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in a resolution dated 17 April 2000 concerning the rights of social, economic, cultural and embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on economic, Social and Cultural rights, and study of special problems facing developing countries in their efforts to achieve these human rights accepted. In this resolution, the Commission emphasized that hunger is harrow and infringement of human greatness.




The point that is quite clear, is that sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran is inconsistent with certain principles of human rights, the principles of human rights accepted by all countries of the world, and even designer and imposer of sanctions. The economic sanctions against Iranian citizens and ban and restriction on trade and business facilities are contradictory with the human rights which examined in this paper.


We can freely express our voice that human rights law can be applied only in cases of domestic law, not international law; and Security Council would not be the subject to decisions here. If we think so, we must consider these reservations incompatible with the object and subject of obligations, without a doubt the best of the human rights conventions.


Many UN declarations and resolutions have stressed the fact that “the realization of economic, social and cultural rights” is an integral part of human dignity. Also, many states have used the concept of human dignity in their reports to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including committee in Relation to socioeconomic rights, as well as in the Committee's concluding Observations . For example, a ban on exports of commodities can be a serious impediment to the exploitation of human rights that takes place through depriving the public of the benefits and advantages that are essential for the import of goods .


A review of international human rights norms and standards enshrined in the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant documents that are indicative of internationally accepted principles, It can be argued that if economic sanctions would lead to human suffering, these sanctions are not justified from the perspective of international law, and it is notable Even in the case of economic sanctions by the United Nations Charter with international agreements .


A number of scholars and experts believe that the United Nations is not a party to human rights treaties. Basically, they are defined and developed after the adoption of the rights specified in the Bill of Rights Charter. As can be noted in the Council’s commitment to respect human rights under general international law, and human rights, especially those who come from one of jus cogens, and ensure that implied general Obligations (erga omnes) . This kind of performance and behavior of the Security Council tarnished the image offers for the international community; protection of human rights on the one hand, and on the other it ignores by imposing economic sanctions.


General regulations concerning human rights, inspired by Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stressed that no government or individual or population cannot be referring to the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Treaties, shall affect the rights and freedoms of others. It is worth noting here that the government is not only prohibited from violating human rights, but also individuals and populations have been barred from committing such acts .


One of the very important provisions in Article 50 of the international responsibility of the plan adopted by the International Law Commission, prepared in compliance with international law is jus cogens. The government cannot give anything jus cogens in international law to prevent violations of international law. Under this provision, the government cannot prevent violations of international law by violation of basic human rights and humanitarian law arrangements. This two restrictions are inspired by Article 60 of the Vienna Convention (1969 ) on the Law of Treaties, Where it is said that there is no way to make such arrangements that conventions could be terminated one-sided or unilaterally.


AUTHOR: Dr. Arash Izadi