(Persia Digest) – Seven morning papers in Iran have published an editorial entitled “In Defense of Freedom” condemning US unilateralism. It is addressed at “informed and independent journalists worldwide” asking them to bravely speak up against violations of the principles of human freedoms without being influenced by governments.

The editorial was published in Iran Daily, Hamshahri, Ettela’at, Shahrvand, Sazandegui, Bahar, and Forsat-e Emrouz.

The full text is as follows:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”.

Thomas Jefferson - United States of America

Declaration of Independence 4th of July 1776


Just twelve scores and two years after Thomas Jefferson wrote this statement down at the very beginning of the United States Declaration of Independence and then in the US Constitution on 8th of May 2018 in front of the eyes of billions of peoples all around the world, President Donald Trump trampled over the US constitution and international law as well as the natural and inherent rights of human beings, namely “Equality, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” in a devastating way.

Trump, arbitrarily and against the principle of international relations, withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, declaring that he would unilaterally impose comprehensive sanctions against Iran. It does not require an extensive knowledge of politics and law to understand that an international agreement signed by a government would still stay strong in case that government is replaced by a new one through elections. Simply put, changing governments is neither a necessary condition nor a sufficient one to violate an international agreement.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is an international agreement reached between Iran, the P5+1 and the European Union according to which as long as Iran is complying with its obligations and not violating the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the other parties - P5+1 plus the EU - are pledged to uphold their commitments under the agreement and refrain from re-imposing sanctions against this country. However, despite frequent verifications by the IAEA and its formal reports indicating that Iran has repeatedly complied with its obligations under the JCPOA, US unilaterally left the agreement without any grounds or explanations.

Informed and independent journalists around the world!

We, Iranian journalists, independent of the government and as an enlightening class that shares the same identity and concerns with other journalists all around the world in the 21st century when civilization has come to a common understanding of human dignity in the concept of freedom, are witnessing that the US government, against the approach of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America and the other thinkers of the concepts of democracy and freedom, from Thomas Jefferson to Francis Fukuyama, has been making a threat against other people on the other side of the globe, restricting their freedom.

Whereas leaving the JCPOA is a non-diplomatic immoral behavior, imposing tyrannical sanctions against a great nation will certainly be an antagonistic, discreditable measure. The US government claims that its sanctions are targeted towards the Iranian governance and not the Iranian people, while the Iranian government believes that the people will come to no harm by the sanctions. However, we, as freethinking, freestanding journalists with an attitude independent of any government believe that contrary to what governments claim, the tyrannical sanctions by the US have brought about destructive repercussions on the lives of millions of Iranian citizens who legitimately enjoy the right of life under optimal conditions. The US government obviously tells a lie when claiming that the sanctions are not imposed on the Iranian people. Indeed, the pressures of the economic blockade against Iran have left harmful, and in some cases, irrevocable impacts on the life of the Iranian people, not least the poor, which are entirely inconsistent with any human rights. Difficulty in having access to medicines and medical equipment is an obvious proof of the claim that it is the people, children, women and men, who are actually targeted by the blind sanctions, when the price of goods have skyrocketed far beyond the purchasing power of ordinary people, when the cost of health, education and even nutrition have increased disproportionately, when many job opportunities are lost as the immediate effects of the sanctions on the industry and agriculture, all these subsequently provoke an escalation of poverty among households - households that constitute the Iranian people…

We believe that human knowledge belongs to humanity, not merely to a particular nation. Just as many nations worldwide have enormously benefitted from the thoughts of Iranian scientists and scholars such as Avicenna, Khwarizmi, Omar Khayyam, Razi, Sa’di and Rumi, the right to benefit from human sciences and their fruits and output, including technology and industry, is preserved for the Iranian people, like any other nation. No state should be allowed to deprive a great civilization-making nation from its rights on delusive grounds.

Our informed free-thinking colleagues!

Mr. Trump has exceeded far beyond boycotting Iranians, by issuing a threat of punishment against any nation that would trade with Iran. This is actually a practical sanction against all other countries, foreclosing the right of benefitting from trade and exchange for all nations that is in direct contradiction to the principles of the International Human Rights Charter and the nature of freedom of human beings. More disastrously, when the Iranian people refer to the International Court of Justice to reclaim their rights, the White House, instead of adopting the verdict, threatens the judges and court officials with sanctions…

American unilateral sanctions against Iran are clearly in conflict with the enactments and resolutions of the UN Security Council. According to the UN Charter, verified and adopted by the members at the San Francisco Conference, the authorization of any coercive measures, including sanctions, is accredited to the Security Council in order to avoid unilateralism. On this basis, Article 39 of the UN charter determines that “The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.” Thus, unilateral measures taken by any country are contrary to the explicit provisions of this international charter.

Based on the “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States”, the UN Resolution 2625 was adopted by the General Assembly in 1970 that puts emphasis on the principle of non-intervention, declaring that “No State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State”.

Resolution A/RES/46/210 adopted by the General Assembly in 1991 also calls upon all the states to eliminate unilateral economic coercive measures with the purpose of exerting, directly or indirectly, coercion on sovereign decisions. The second article of the resolution considers these economic coercive measures, as evidenced by trade restrictions, blockades, embargoes, freezing of assets and other economic sanctions, incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations.

Again, the resolution A/RES/51/22 adopted under the title of “Eliminations of coercive economic measures as a means of political and economic compulsion” by the General Assembly in 1996, considers unilateral sanctions as in contravention of the norms of international law, stating that the enactment of extraterritorial coercive economic laws is inconsistent with the inalienable right of every state to economic and social development and to choose the political, economic and social system which it deems most appropriate for the welfare of its people, in accordance with its national plans and policies.

Article 2 calls for the immediate repeal of unilateral extraterritorial laws, while Article 3 calls upon all states not to recognize unilateral extraterritorial coercive economic measures or legislative acts imposed by any state.

For the time being, defying and even disparaging the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council adopted by members of the United Nations, by a wayward person as the head of a member state is indeed a black mark in the history of the civilized world and the United Nations. For the first time, the head of a member state of the UN asks other members to trample a Security Council resolution! (United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231concerning removing sanctions against Iran, adopted on July 20, 2015). Can this eccentric development be considered as a terrible sign heralding an effort to overthrow the highest institution in the world that works based on collective rationality and democratic values? Is the economic power and authority, by its very nature, sufficiently eligible to foreclose the authenticity of collective rationality, removing it from the processes of decision and policy-making in the international arena?

We, as independent journalists, call upon all our free-thinking peers all around the globe – not least the free-thinking journalists in the West – not to keep silent against blemishing the principles of human freedom (which are the result of human beings sufferings throughout the history) with the utmost courage and without being influenced by any government and to speak out in defense of the truth, as John Locke who once stressed that “Life, liberty and property are fundamental values and not subject to the will or legislative authority”, and eventually not let the fruits of libertarian thoughts go with the wind so terrifyingly - works of thinkers like Thomas Jefferson, John Dewey and Walter Lippmann to Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi,  Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin, Hannah Arendt, Francis Fukuyama and other activists and thinkers of freedom.

Read more:

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Iranian artist painted the Berlin wall

US interference in Iran has shaped present animosity

E3 joint statement on US withdrawal from JCPOA

Peaceful protest at Bolton’s speech

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