Ban on medicine imports by Iran is an instance of ‘war crime’, legislator says

March 15, 2020 - 15:10

TEHRAN — The spokesman for the Parliament Health Committee has deplored Washington for slowing down efforts by Iran to contain the new coronavirus through its sanctions, describing the sanctions on Iran’s medicine sector as nothing but a “war crime”.

“This measure by the U.S. is tantamount to a war crime and the international community must react to this issue,” Akbar Torki told Tasnim.

In the current situation caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus, the entire world is being threatened, he said, adding that the virus knows no boundaries or religions and therefore all countries should cooperate to eradicate the infectious disease.

Pointing to the American statesmen’s moves to hamper the delivery of medical supplies to Iran as a violation of human rights, Torki said, “International courts must prevent these human rights abuses by the U.S. because the medicines and equipment are used to prevent and treat the coronavirus in Iran.”

In his regular news briefing on Saturday, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour put the number of Iranians infected with the virus at 12,729.

Of this number, Jahanpour added, 611 patients have died and 4,339 recovered.

From Friday afternoon up to Saturday afternoon, 91 persons were added to the number of the people died from coronavirus in Iran.

More than 140,000 have been infected globally, according to the WHO. Of those, over 68,000 have recovered.

Foreign Minister Zarif has called the U.S. ban on sale of medicine as an instance of “medical terrorism”.

In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, Zarif said, “I am writing to you concerning a matter of the greatest urgency. As you—and my counterparts across the world—are painfully aware, we are now officially amid a pandemic. Most of us have been affected by the spread of the highly contagious Covid19 viral disease, with my country among the worst impacted so far.”
 
in another part of his letter, Zarif said, “While the virus ravages our cities and towns, our population—unlike those of other countries affected—suffer under the most severe and indiscriminate campaign of economic terrorism in history, imposed illegally and extra-territorially by the Government of the United States since it reneged on its commitments under Security Council Resolution 2231 in May 2018.” 

In a letter to number of world leaders on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said countering coronavirus entails “regional and international coordination and cooperation”.
 
Rouhani said containing this “great and dangerous crisis” is not possible by a single country.

The president also said the U.S. sanctions on Iran and obedience to these bans by certain countries is not only “illegal and in contravention of the (UN) Security Council Resolution it is also immoral and anti-human.”

Rouhani also said today it is necessary to counter the U.S. economic terrorism against Iran which is showing its “ugly and ant-human face” more than any other time.

MH/PA

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