In a welcome development, Biden has announced US plans to re-enter the Iran nuclear agreement, reversing Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement negotiated under Obama. He also announced the US will end support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive actions against Yemen.
The people of both countries have suffered horribly from US imperialist intervention.
In Iran, domestic tyranny has been strengthened by US sanctions against that country. Iran’s prisons are bulging with political prisoners who are opponents of the Islamic Republic while uncounted hundreds of thousands have died from lack of food, medicines and other essentials caused by US sanctions.
The US has actively supported Saudi aggression on Yemen. Over 100,000 Yemenis have died in the Saudi war — from airstrikes, coordinated and paid for by the US, and spreading famine and disease.
In fact, two Yemeni families have filed a petition against the US government to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights over the “unlawful” killing of 34 relatives, including nine children, in counterterrorism operations between 2013 and 2018.
These conditions have made the Covid epidemic far worse in each country.
Secretary of State Blinken says it’s up to Iran, who stayed in the nuclear agreement, to take action to demonstrate good faith, while the US, who left the agreement in an outrageous and provocative action by Trump, has no obligations to cease its homicidal sanctions on the Iranian people.
Concerning Yemen, Biden went out of his way to say the U.S. will “defend Saudi Arabia’s borders” (as if Yemen ever attacked Saudi Arabia!). He is sending the same envoy who was sent by Obama to support the start of the war in 2015. And, there is great concern that another US-funded ally, Qatar, will take up the war on Yemen, replacing some Saudi actions.
As Shireen Al-Ameimi, a Yemeni scholar and activist who teaches at Michigan State, said, “This war would not have gotten so bad without foreign intervention” by the United States. Here is something we should think about:
“You know, the Saudis have enjoyed U.S. support for decades. But certainly in the last several years, they have been the biggest customer of arms sales … from the United States. If we look at civilian casualties, I can’t find a figure of Saudi civilian casualties over six years…. The details matter for the 30 million Yemenis who are living back home. Is this war going to end for them? We can’t really see an end to this war unless the U.S. ends their support, all of it — training, spare parts, weapon sales, logistics, intelligence sharing, their support with the blockade.”