MP wants UN Security Council to pass urgent resolution to annul U.S. sanctions on Iran

March 17, 2020 - 20:2

TEHRAN - Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has urged the United Nations Security Council to pass an “urgent resolution” to revoke the illegal U.S. sanctions on Iran as the Islamic Republic is fighting the deadly coronavirus.

“Iran must officially ask removal of sanctions through a resolution of the United Nations Security Council in order to fight the coronavirus,” he told ISNA in an interview published on Tuesday.

He noted that the coronavirus outbreak has become pandemic and must be countered based on international conventions.

“We are fulfilling our duty [in fighting the coronavirus], but the international community does not help take action at the international level,” the MP said.

Iran is currently battling the world’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus in the Middle East.

Iran has denounced the United States for impeding the effective fight against the coronavirus through its sanctions, especially medical sanctions.

The Trump administration has not only introduced the harshest sanctions in history against Iran, banning a total ban on Tehran’s oil sale, it has also threatened to punish any country that does business with Iran. Fearing U.S. secondary sanctions, the companies and countries are even afraid to sell medicine to Iran. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has urged the removal of sanctions on Iran as the country is fighting the coronavirus.

Geng made remarks at a press briefing when asked to comment on a letter sent by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to leaders of several countries, in which he accused the U.S. government of continuing to thwart Iran's efforts to counter the pandemic, with sanctions having caused about 200 billion U.S. dollars of direct damages to the Iranian economy in less than two years, Xinhua reported.

Saying the Iranian government and people are at a critical moment to fight against the novel coronavirus disease, Geng stressed continued unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran have deteriorated the situation and gone against the humanitarian spirit.

Russian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement on Monday saying "in light of incoming reports of the growing pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, we cannot but pay attention to the unfair, unequal situation that the Islamic Republic of Iran, our good neighbor, and partner, is facing ... The reason for the many victims caused by it [the spread of the virus] lies not only in the disease itself but also in the fact that the U.S. deliberately prevented Iran from resisting it." 

The ministry stressed that "the U.S. inhumane policy causes deep regret, alarm and serious concern."
"We strongly urge the United States to face the truth and take an overdue decision to immediately lift the sanctions striking on the fundamental human rights in Iran. The global pandemic is not the time to settle geopolitical scores," the ministry said.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the United States’ sanctions impede Iran’s efforts in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
“Returned to New York from Tehran last night. People and government of Iran working hard to defeat Covid-19, but the U.S. sanctions impeding their efforts,” he tweeted on Friday.

He added, “High time for the U.S. to de-politicize this humanitarian endeavor and lift sanctions. International crises necessitate genuine international efforts.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has sent a letter to United Nations chief Antonio Guterres urging the largest international body to disregard Washington’s sanctions on Tehran amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Zarif broke out the content of the letter to Guterres in a Tweet on Friday night, writing, “I urge the world body—and member states—to disregard inhuman U.S. sanctions on my country. And insist that they be lifted.”

“As the #COVID19 ravages Iran, we should recognize that viruses don't discriminate. To fight them, neither should humans,” he added, posting the following the two-page letter as attached photos.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has urged the international community to help lift the “inhuman” sanctions against Tehran by the United States as Iran is in the midst of the campaign to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

In separate letters to the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, secretary-general of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly and also parliament speakers of the Asian and Islamic countries, Larijani has expressed regret over the United States’ “inhuman” sanctions against Iran which is creating impediments in the battle against the coronavirus’s spread.

He urged the international community to adopt a “principled” stance for immediate removal of sanctions against Iran, especially ban on medicine medical supplies.

Mehdi Sanaei, a top advisor to Zarif, has said from human rights perspective removal of “unilateral” and “illegitimate” sanctions on Iran is essential as the country is battling the deadly coronavirus.

“In a situation in which the coronavirus has become pandemic in the world, the human rights necessitates removal of unilateral and illegitimate sanctions against Iran,” he tweeted on Saturday.

Sanaei, Iran’s former ambassador to Moscow, added that other countries have a responsibility towards the Iranians and must not follow the U.S. sanctions.

NA/PA

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