RNA - Daniel McAdams, the Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute, made the remarks during a Thursday edition of PressTV’s The Debate program while commenting on the reasons why the United States continues to impose more sanctions against Iran at a time when the country is fighting the same deadly coronavirus pandemic that is also killing Americans and others.
In a move earlier in the day, the administration of US President Donald Trump slapped new sanctions against 20 companies, officials and individuals in Iran and Iraq, over accusations of supporting Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the IRGC's Quds Force, among other resistance groups.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement that the sanctions freeze any US-held assets of those designated and generally bar Americans from doing business with them as the Islamic country battles the flu-like pathogen.
Over the past week, calls have been growing on the international stage for the US to lift the illegal sanctions, which have hampered Tehran’s access to lifesaving medical supplies at this critical juncture in time.
“Unfortunately, the president’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo views the coronavirus as an excellent opportunity for he and his fellow neocons’ long-time strategy of destroying the Iranian nation or overthrowing its government, or both preferably, and they see this as a great opportunity,” McAdams told Press TV on Thursday.
“It’s not just Iran; they are doing the same thing to Venezuela… So, the neocons are pretty bloodthirsty people and they view the suffering of people in Venezuela and Iran as a wonderful opportunity because the sanctions, don’t forget, are themselves designed to create suffering,” he added.
Heinz Gaertner, a political scientist with International Institute for Peace from Vienna, was the other panelist invited to The Debate program and highlighted the humanitarian dimension of US sanctions on Iran during the deadly virus outbreak.
“The sanctions have always had humanitarian dimension but it is now much [more] severe with the corona crisis and the humanitarian consequences of the sanctions in Iran have very catastrophic effects,” Gaertner said.
Asked whether the US administration’s push for sanctions is turning the deadly pandemic into a massacre machine against Iran, Gaertner said, “I don’t think it will succeed because, first of all, Iranians have developed the resistance economy and the sanctions alone will not bring down the Iranian society, and [secondly] relying on a pandemic to severely hurt the Iranian society is a kind of paradox of the American administration; it could not bring down the Iranian economy, that’s not going to happen.”
The new coronavirus, a respiratory disuse known as the COVID-19, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, incrementally infecting some 185 countries across the world.
More than 533,000 people worldwide have been infected with the virus and over 24,000 have died, according to a running count by worldometers.info.
Iran has said that the unilateral US sanctions imposed on the country have seriously hampered its fight on the pandemic. The disease has so far killed 2,234 people and infected 29,406 others in Iran. A total of 10,457 people have also recovered.