Rouhani: U.S. lost historic opportunity to review wrong Iran approach

April 1, 2020 - 19:37

TEHRAN - President Rouhani told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the U.S. missed the “best historic opportunity” to rectify its mistakes by lifting illegal sanctions against Iran which is hit hard by the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

“They did not realize what they had to do. This was the best historic opportunity for the Americans to review their wrong approach, and tell their nation, for once at least, that ‘we are not against the Iranian nation’,” the president remarked.

“Unfortunately, the Americans did not learn a lesson even amid these acute and tough international circumstances,” Rouhani lamented, according to Press TV.

The Trump administration has refused calls by the United Nations and a number of world leaders to lift or even suspend sanctions against Iran. Ironically, the U.S. Treasury added to the list of its sanctions against Iran last week.

On March 24, United Nations leadership called for rolling back international sanctions regimes around the world, saying they are heightening the health risks for millions of people and weakening the global effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

“I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote in a letter to the G-20 economic powers, according to Foreign Policy. “Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.”

Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, also said on March 24 that “in a context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.”

“At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended,” she said in a statement.

While the Iranian nations had pinned their hope on the lifting of sanctions with the conclusion of the 2015 nuclear agreement -JCPOA - President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018, returned the previous sanctions, and imposed new ones.

Trump even introduced a total embargo on Iran’s oil export in order to choke off the Iranian economy. Trump did this despite the fact that the JCPOA is endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said the U.S. “economic terrorism” against the Iranian nation has expanded to “medical terrorism”.

As the worst hit country in the West Asia region, the Covid-19 has so far killed 3,036 Iranian cities and infected 47,500.

According to the Health Ministry, 3,871 of infected persons in critical condition.

In his Wednesday remarks, Rouhani said the U.S. has “always acted against the Iranian people, and, today, their opposition towards the people came to be witnessed more clearly.”

Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi has warned that failure to contain the deadly virus in Iran will affect the entire world.


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