US Caught Off-Guard By Iran Sanctions – OpEd


The decision by Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) to impose sanctions on and indict 26 US officials who have perpetrated war crimes and violated human rights has come as a great surprise to the US government that has always accused independent nations such as Iran of violating human rights and supporting terrorism.

The reputation of the United States as a country which has conventionally introduced itself as the number one defender of democracy and a staunch advocate of human rights is now at stake with the decision of the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) to indict in absentia 26 US officials who have, during the past decades, violated human rights, sponsored terrorism and taken part in large-scale drug trafficking.

According to the members of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran’s Parliament (Majlis), Iran will prosecute 26 current and former American officials on various charges ranging from authorizing the killing of innocent civilians to ordering the incarceration of political activists without a court hearing.

From among the 26 people on the list, Paul Bremer, the US civilian administrator in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and Gen. Tommy Franks, who was the head of the US Central Command during the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, caught the attention of the US mainstream media the most; however, the name of each of these US officials who are to be prosecuted by Iran brings to mind an aggressive and hostile movement by the US and its policymakers which the international community cannot overlook.

According to the Iranian lawmakers who have put forward the proposal, the dossier of these 26 officials will be referred to international courts after they are tried in Iran in absentia.

Captain Will Rogers III is one of the terrorists on the list of Iran’s Parliament (Majlis). He is responsible for the mass killing of 290 Iranian, Emirati, Indian, Pakistani, Serbian and Italian civilians onboard Iran Air Flight 655 which was savagely shot down by the USS Vincennes Destroyer on July 3, 1988 over the Strait of Hormuz. Not only didn’t the US government ever apologize to Iran for this clear act of terror, it also awarded all the crew of Vincennes the Combat Action Ribbons and granted Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator, the Navy Commendation Medal, which is often given for acts of heroism or meritorious service.

Another high-profile American terrorist who has been named by Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) is Thomas J. Pickard, the director of FBI in 2001, who played a major role in the violent massacre of the members of Davidian branch on April 19, 1993.

On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian branch at Mount Carmel, located 9 miles east-northwest of Waco, Texas. As the ATF failed to execute the search warrant, a siege was implemented by FBI which lasted 50 days and finally ended with an incursion into the Davidians’ compound which claimed the lives of 74 members of this sect including 20 children, two pregnant women and the sect leader David Koresh.

This massacre became a stigma in the history of FBI and now it’s time for its perpetrators to be held accountable for what they committed 18 years ago.

Donald Rumsfeld’s name is also on the list. He was the US Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under ex-President George W. Bush. He is accused of ordering the torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay prison, Abu Ghraib prison a.k.a. Baghdad Correctional Facility, and Bagram Theater Internment Facility.

In 2005, the New York Times acquired a 2,000-page US Army report which unveiled the brutal homicide of two unarmed Afghan prisoners by the US armed forces at the Bagram prison. Habibullah and Dilawar were chained to the ceiling and severely beaten which caused their immediate death. It’s said that the detainment and torturing of these two Afghan civilians was directly ordered by Donald Rumsfeld.

There are also other reports of maltreatment and torturing of several other detainees at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility by American soldiers. In October 2004, the US Army Criminal Investigation Command concluded that 27 soldiers should be charged with criminal offenses in the case of Dilawar and Habibullah. Out of the 27 soldiers, seven have so far been tried.

The maltreatment of the detainees in Abu Ghraib prison also became public in early 2004 when the official Army Regulation 15-6 military inquiry into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, also known as Taguba Report revealed that the prisoners kept in Abu Ghraib correctional facility were subject to various kinds of physical, psychological and sexual abuse including torture, rape, sodomy and homicide.

The investigative reports show that all of these mistreatments were done with the acknowledgement of Donald Rumsfeld.

Overall, what is now brought to spotlight is that the United States, contrary to its pretensions and claims, is a major violator of human rights, degrading and disrespecting the dignity of people from various nationalities without paying any attention to their most essential rights.

Iran’s decision to try American officials on charges of human rights violations and sponsoring terrorism is a calculated act which should be taken seriously by the international community and those who really care for the dignity of humankind and those who are aware of the fact that the United States is the number one enemy of peace, democracy and human rights.

Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent.

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