Iran to sue U.S. in international courts for medical sanctions: MP

March 16, 2020 - 14:38

TEHRAN - A parliamentarian said on Monday that Tehran will sue the U.S. in relevant international courts for imposing medical sanctions on Iran.

Shahbaz Hassapour Biglari lashed out at the Washington officials for blocking dispatch of medicines to Iran, saying the move can be considered as a “war crime and crime against humanity”.

"We must sue the United States' officials in the international courts," said the legislator who represents the people of Sirjan (Kerman province) in the parliament.

Hassapour Biglari, who sits on the Majlis Budget and Planning Committee, also condemned the American officials who have put Iranians under psychological pressure under various pretexts. 

The spokesman for the Parliament Health Committee has also deplored Washington for slowing efforts to contain the new coronavirus in Iran through sanctions, describing sanctions on 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 an interview published on Saturday.
In the current situation caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus, the entire world is being threatened, Torki said, adding that the virus knows no boundaries or religions and therefore all countries should cooperate to eradicate the infectious disease.

Calling American statesmen’s moves to hamper the delivery of medical supplies to Iran 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.”

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that President Hassan Rouhani's letter to his counterparts was a warning that the U.S. sanctions was not only putting Iranians' life in danger but also would pave the ground for a faster spread of COVID-19 to other countries.

"In a letter to counterparts Hassan Rouhani informs how efforts to fight COVID19 pandemic in Iran have been severely hampered by U.S. sanctions, urging them to cease observing them: It is IMMORAL to let a bully kill innocents. Viruses recognize no politics or geography. Nor should we," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account, implying that no government should keep mum on such brutal sanctions on Iran. 

In a letter to a number of world leaders on Saturday, Rouhani said countering the coronavirus outbreak entailed “regional and international coordination and cooperation”.

Rouhani said containing this “huge and dangerous crisis” is not possible by one country.

“The management of this huge and dangerous crisis is not possible by a single country, let alone a country (Iran) which is facing numerous problems in accessing international financial markets and providing its needed goods,” the president asserted.
The president said the U.S. sanctions on Iran and observance of 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 it was necessary to counter the U.S. economic terrorism against Iran which was showing its “ugly and anti-human face” more than any other time.

Iran, which is under unprecedented sanctions in history, is facing a burgeoning rise in the number of people infected with the deadly coronavirus, called Covid-19.

Iran is the most affected country in the Middle East.
In a regular news briefing on Monday, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the number of Iranians infected with the virus has jumped to 14,991.

Jahanpour also put the number of the dead at 853.

In 24 hours, from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon, 129 persons were added to the fatalities. 

According to the figure, Monday is considered the deadliest day in Iran.

Also in the 24-hour time, 1,053 cases were added to the number of persons confirmed diagnosed with the virus. 

The ministry spokesman releases reports on the deadly virus at 2: pm local time every day.

A couple of days ago, Zarif called the U.S. ban on sale of medicine to Iran as an instance of “medical terrorism”.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released on Thursday, 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.”



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