Lifting the sanctions against Iran should be a priority

This frame grab from a video released by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, shows the Guard speed boats, center, in front of a U.S warship, left, amid the seizure of a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker, right, in the Gulf of Oman. Iran seized the tanker in the Gulf of Oman last month and still holds the vessel, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday, revealing the latest provocation in Mideast waters as tensions escalate between Iran and the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program. Photo by Revolutionary Guard/AP Photo)

For as long as I can remember, the relationship between the United States and Iran has been, well, rocky. In 2015, President Barack Obama helped broker a deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — between the U.S. and Iran, which lifted the sanctions that were previously placed against Iran. In 2018, however, Donald Trump restored the sanctions in an effort to put more pressure on Iran’s government. But, what he failed to realize was that the pressure he put on Iran was felt by the innocent people of the country. Not only did these sanctions strain the relationship between the American and Iranian governments, but Iran’s inflation rate quadrupled, and Iranians’ lives were put in jeopardy. 

The impacts of the sanctions being restored tremendously affected innocent Iranian civilians. Everyday items such as meat products became too expensive to afford. The price of gas skyrocketed. These factors caused the people of Iran to break out in protest. Protests in Iran rarely end without bloodshed, and 208 people died as a result. Iran’s government is extremely oppressive, so Iranians don’t have the freedom to protest against their. The Iranian people affected by the sanctions want the governments of Iran and the U.S. to get along, but when they show any form of resistance against their own government, they are killed. 

The Iranian people have been taking hits for their government since 2018. The sanctions caused prices to go up and Iran’s economy to suffer, and Iran’s government hasn’t made the situation any better either. In response, they increased their work on nuclear weapons, making the U.S. less inclined to lift sanctions. In order for the sanctions against Iran to be eased, Biden claims that Iran must first agree to limit their production of nuclear weapons. If they don’t, the sanctions against Iran will remain in place. However, the U.S. currently has 3,750 nuclear warheads — enough to destroy the world. The U.S.’s hypocrisy when it comes to nuclear weapons is clear. The U.S. is trying to control Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, while the U.S. and many of its allies possess enough to destroy the entire world. 

According to sanctionskill, 39 countries — one third of humanity — are currently being impacted by sanctions. The U.S. is an extremely powerful country, and the sanctions it puts on less powerful countries — such as Iran — target innocent civilians including children and the elderly. In the U.S., it’s easy to ignore or simply not know about our country’s relationship with other nations. But in a country like Iran, the people feel the effects of these tensions. Food and gas become expensive. Simply living becomes expensive. Fighting back, in this case, could cost your life. Many U.S. citizens know very little about the sanctions against Iran. They say as long as we don’t go to war, we’ll be fine. However, sanctions are another form of warfare. The presence of sanctions between the U.S. and Iran impacts every second of Iranians’ lives. 

It is a privilege to be in a position where you don’t experience the consequences of tensions between nations. Forcing the innocent people of a country to take hits for their corrupt government is unethical and cruel. Biden needs to address this issue and move forward with lifting the sanctions against Iran. Not doing so would put even more Iranian lives at risk. Sanctions against Iran make it almost impossible to live for many families. The U.S. is directly responsible for punishing innocent, defenseless people for the actions of a corrupt government. 

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