Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, said Thursday that Washington’s sanctions have hampered the global action that is vital to curbing COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus.
“Coronavirus has spread not only in Iran but also across almost all countries in the world and [therefore] stopping it calls for a resolute effort and collective action,” he said during a phone conversation with Dutch Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Matthijs van der Plas.
"Today, in addition to fighting this virus, Iran has to deal with illegal and inhumane US sanctions as well, and this issue has doubled the pressure on the Iranian people," Iran's deputy foreign minister said, adding, “It is the right of the Iranian people to access their financial resources in order to counter this disease and its economic repercussions.”
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_The senior diplomat said the US sanctions constituted a blatant violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as a result of which all nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic were lifted.
However, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and re-imposed all the sanctions removed under the deal despite objections from other signatories – the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
The Trump administration has also on several occasions introduced new harsh sanctions that target Iran’s medical industry as well as its oil sales, with State Secretary Mike Pompeo blatantly stating that he would like to see Iranians either give in to Washington’s pressure or “starve.”
Those sanctions are taking their toll now more than ever, with various medical companies refusing to sell Tehran medicine and other equipment required to fight the coronavirus over fears of being penalized by the US.
Since the first COVID-19 case was recorded in Iran in late February, 87,000 people have so far contracted the deadly disease, with the death toll standing at around 5,500.
Despite facing sanctions and economic pressure, however, more than 64,000 patients have recovered thanks to the joint efforts of the Iranian Health Ministry and the country’s Armed Forces.