Gary Sick, a scholar at Columbia University, served on the
National Security Council under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and
Ronald Reagan and was the principal White House aide for Iran during
the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis.
He writes: "First, as a member of the US policy team that first applied sanctions
against Iran when our diplomats were being held hostage in Tehran, we
drew the line at food and medicine. That has remained true in the
succeeding 37 years. Despite all the onerous sanctions that the US has
imposed against Iran over the years, which verge on economic warfare,
there has never been a formal restriction on sales of food or medicine,
including by US companies. The Saudi-UAE boycott, however, closed off
food and medicine shipments to Qatar wherever possible, in the middle of
Ramadan. I don’t know if this technically constitutes a breach of
international humanitarian law, but it is certainly drastic by modern
standards of political conflict."
He goes on to make several other telling points, including the fact that the U.S. military does not seem to be in sync with Donald Trump's pronouncements on the subject.