The British Defense Secretary has acknowledged that the western sanctions on Iran are targeted at the livelihood of the ordinary people, which he said are necessary so that Tehran feels an “existential threat” from economic pressure and ends its nuclear activities.
“We can definitely make the pain much greater. Nobody wants to cause the Iranian people to suffer unnecessarily but this mad scheme to build a bomb has to be brought to an end,” Philip Hammond told the Guardian.
“The only thing that is likely to budge the [government from its nuclear position] is if they see or sense an existential threat. If the level of economic pressure starts to translate into potentially [government]-threatening disruption and dissent on the streets of Tehran, then they may change course,” he added.
Hammond did mention Iranians’ repeated explanation that “they’re enriching uranium for peaceful purposes,” but he blatantly claimed, “Nobody believes them.”
This comes as there are more grounds to believe Hammond is lying rather than Tehran as the latter is pursuing all its nuclear activities under the close inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and that the agency has never offered any evidence on a deviation in Iran’s civilian nuclear activities.
Iran says its nuclear energy program is totally civilian and aimed at power generation adding it needs the 20-percent-enriched uranium it produces for production of fuel for a reactor that produces medicine for cancer and other patients.
His comments come ahead of the Conservative party annual conference and a meeting of EU ministers on October 15, when Britain, France and Germany are expected to push for more sanctions against Iran.
“There is talk of a general trade embargo and of shutting down the remaining access that Iran has to international banking channels,” Hammond said.
Iranian officials have long condemned the US and EU unilateral sanctions on the country as an “economic war” targeted at the people; a war commentators believe would further unify Iranians against their enemies.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also condemned the western embargoes saying they have affected people’s livelihood and impeded patient’s access to much needed medicine.
“The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine,” Ban said in a report to the UN General Assembly on Friday.
Iran has in the past described the Western propaganda storm against its nuclear energy program as a political game against a democracy Westerners cannot tolerate.