Unilateral sanctions – not approved by the UN Security Council – are illegal under international law. Besides contravening the UN Charter, unilateral sanctions inflict much human loss. Countless civilians – many far from target countries – are at risk, depriving them of much, even life itself.
The US has imposed more sanctions, for longer periods, than any other nation. During 1990-2005, the US imposed a third of sanctions regimes worldwide.
These were inflicted on more than 1,000 entities or individuals yearly in 2016-20 – nearly 80% more than in 2008-15. Thus, the Trump administration raised the US share of all sanctions to almost half!
Tens of millions of Afghans now face food insecurity, even starvation, as the US has seized its US$9.5 billion central bank reserves. President Biden’s 11 February 2022 executive order gives half of this to 9/11 victims’ families, although no Afghan was ever found responsible for the atrocity.
The six decade-long US trade embargo has cost Cuba at least US$130 billion. It causes shortages of food, medicine and other essential items to this day. Meanwhile, Washington continues to ignore the UN General Assembly’s call to lift its blockade.
US-led unilateral sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other countries have failed to achieve their purported objectives, namely, to change regimes, or at least, regime behavior.