The new unilateral sanctions by the United States against Iran, Russia and Syria now form the most unforgiving embargo in History.
The way in which they have been organised is illegal – these are weapons of war, designed for killing.
The US sanctions were not decided by the United Nations Security Council, but by the United States alone. They are illegal in international law because in order to make them lethal, Washington is attempting to force third-party states to associate themselves with the motion, which constitutes a threat to the states targeted and therefore a violation of the United Nations Charter.
The United States have the sovereign right to refuse to enter into commerce with other states, but not to exercise pressure on third-party states in order to harm their targets. At one time, the Pentagon claimed that inflicting damaging treatment on a particular nation would lead its people to overthrow its government. That was also the theoretical justification for the bombing of Dresden during the Second World War and the endless embargo against Cuba during the Cold War.
However, in the space of 75 years, this theory has never, absolutely never, been verified by the facts. Now the Pentagon is considering using detrimental treatment against a nation as a weapon of war like any other. Embargoes are designed to kill civilians.