US Bans Hampering Iran’s Battle with COVID-19, Envoy Says

US Bans Hampering Iran’s Battle with COVID-19, Envoy Says“People and government of Iran working hard to defeat Covid-19, but US sanctions (are) impeding their efforts,” Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday night after returning to New York from Tehran.

The ambassador also denounced Washington’s political approach to the issue of humanitarian aids amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, saying, “High time for US to de-politicize this humanitarian endeavor and lift sanctions.”

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that the fight against the coronavirus, which has turned into an international crisis, requires “genuine international efforts”.

A few days ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, denouncing the US’ sanctions as a major obstacle to the Islamic Republic’s fight against the coronavirus and urging that such unilateral and illegal sanctions should end.

Zarif had emphasized in the letter that despite Iran’s scientific capabilities and the commitment that the country’s health system has shown to the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, the US’ sanctions on legal trade and the preconditions that the United States’ authorities have set recently in order to prevent the sale of medicine, medical equipment and humanitarian supplies have posed serious obstacles to the efforts to battle against the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran.

The Iranian foreign minister had also cited examples of the US’ measures against Iran, pointing to the effect of the secondary sanctions on Iran’s oil sales as well as the private sector’s exports of other products and a consequent reduction in the ability of the government to provide subsidy for the basic commodities consumed by the Iranian citizens, the private sector’s reduced capacity for production and employment, the multilayered nature of sanctions on the financial sectors, transportation, insurance and banks for preventing the sale of medicine and medical equipment to Iran, the refusal to supply the Iranian airlines with the components, tools and navigation software with the purpose of grounding Iran’s aviation sector, and the recent measure from the American companies to obstruct the use of information technology in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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