Without brutal sanctions COVID-19 can be managed better, vice president says

April 5, 2020 - 20:55

TEHRAN — If the obstacles created by the “brutal” U.S. sanctions are removed, Iran can control the spread of coronavirus in a better way, Iran's Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said on Saturday.

“We are in the midst of brutal U.S. sanctions," Jahangiri made the remarks in a meeting with managers and officials of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Addressing U.S. President Donald Trump, he said, “If you remove the obstacles, we will be able to better fight the coronavirus and manage this situation.” 

Various officials in the U.S. have criticized Trump's “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Senator Bernie Sanders in his tweet on March 31 said that U.S. sanctions are obstructing medicine and aid from getting in, while coronavirus has caused suffering and death to Iranians. 

In letter issued on Friday, about 150 Iranian academicians urged United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to help end the illegal sanctions on Iran.

“As the signers of this declaration, we request Your Excellency as the UN’s Secretary-General, and its subordinate organizations, and also the whole world’s intellectual community, civil society, international institutions, and the all noble people to help the Iranian state and nation in removing sanctions in order for them to be able to confront the disease outbreak,” part of the letter said.  

Worldwide, the total number of infections recorded since the beginning of the outbreak reached more than 1,200,000. Nearly 250,000 have recovered, while the global death toll has surpassed 65,000.

As of Sunday, more than 58,000 Iranians have been infected with COVID-19 and nearly 3,600 have died.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Jahangiri said the tourism industry and handicrafts industries in Iran have suffered the most from the outbreak of the coronavirus.

However, he said, through “proper measures and planning, we must not allow tourism and handicrafts and their subdivisions to be harmed further."

Jahangiri said the highly transmissible COVID-19 has affected the global economy and Iran is no exception.

“We need to increase our ability to cope with this disease and overcome the conditions that the virus has imposed on us.” 

He went on to say that the issue of health and treatment of citizens are of paramount importance. "Apart from this important priority, economic issues and consequences of COVID-19 are also important priorities that we must plan to overcome."


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