Deadly impacts of economic sanctions are to be the focus of the annual Genocide Memorial Day event in London on January 19 with particular attention to Iran and Venezuela, a UK-based rights group announced on Thursday.

Iran PressEurope: "Genocide is normally associated with violent actions that lead to the deaths of large numbers of persons. But what if large numbers of persons die, not due to violence, but due to sanctions?" the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said in a statement.

In Iran, it added, many medicines needed by patients can only be imported and US-led sanctions have curtailed their supply. "The lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in Iran are now under direct threat as a result of sanctions."

"While the western narrative is that the aim of sanctions is to pressure the government, the reality is that they aim to squeeze the country’s people and fuel social discontent. The restrictions on medicine and medical equipment which cannot possibly have a dual function and are solely intended for humanitarian purposes is sufficient proof that sanctions are not as targeted as is claimed," read the statement.

IHRC compared the US sanctions to the controversial Oil for Food program imposed on Iraq in 1995 and said that the economic boycott of Venezuela has led to 40,000 deaths.

Genocide Memorial Day is a day to remember man’s inhumanity to man in the perpetration of genocides and genocidal acts that are given insufficient exposure by the mainstream media. It started in 2010 by the IHRC, the founding member of the Decolonial International Network, as an annual tradition to commemorate the Zionist regime of Israel's attack on Gaza in 2008. 



US Sanctions modern alternative to genocide

US sanctions halt S. Korea's medical trade with Iran: Report

US sanctions stop import of medicines for victims of chemical weapons: Iranian official