Over 30 countries have helped Iran fighting coronavirus, says Foreign Ministry spokesman

Tehran: Certain countries exploiting coronavirus circumstances

April 6, 2020 - 19:28

TEHRAN — Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that certain countries are exploiting the dire coronavirus circumstances by politicizing the issue.

“We are concerned about people’s sadness. Certain governments and countries have tried to politicize the coronavirus issue” and exploit the situation, Mousavi said on Monday during his first press briefing in the new Iranian year which was held online.

“We hope that this New Year would be a year filled with happiness and blessings for the Iranian nation and all nations,” he said. “We hope that in this New Year we would overcome the coronavirus issue and all other viruses, including the violence virus.”

Mousavi thanked Iranians living abroad for sending humanitarian aid through Iran’s embassies across the world.

He said more than thirty countries and some international organizations have helped Iran in its battle against the coronavirus.

However, he denounced the U.S. for “cruel, illegal sanctions” against Iran.
“Our request from the American regime’s rulers is not help … [rather] we want the sanctions to be ended.”

“The sanctions are cruel and they should be lifted,” he said. “If the U.S. does not want to help, at least it must not create obstacles.”

“What is important for Iran is that the sanctions are cruel and illegal and everyone agrees on this,” the spokesman said.

“We ask all independent and civilized countries of the world to disregard the unilateral, illegal and bullying sanctions of the U.S.”

Iran has repeatedly said the U.S. sanctions, which were imposed after the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, are hampering its efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

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.  

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

“We are in the midst of brutal U.S. sanctions,” Jahangiri said.

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.” 

During his press conference, Mousavi said Iran does not seek humanitarian help from the United States, adding, “Our request from the American regime’s rulers is not help … [rather] we want the sanctions to be ended.”

“Our message is loud and clear and it has been expressed in different languages,” he remarked.

“We ask other countries not to accompany the U.S. in its bullying. However, this would depend on their political and economic power and their courage.”

The spokesman also said the U.S. has demonstrated that it has no mercy to its allies and friends either.

“A warning should be given to the international community that they should stand up to the U.S. unilateralism,” he added.

On Friday, Berlin’s top security official accused Washington of using “wild west methods” to divert and obtain a delivery of face masks originally destined for the German capital.

Berlin State Interior Minister Andreas Geisel denounced the diversion of the masks as an “act of modern piracy,” according to Reuters.

German media had reported that thousands of masks purchased from manufacturer 3M had been diverted to the U.S. as they were being transferred between planes in Thailand en route from China.

German officials have confirmed that about 200,000 FFP2 masks — an equivalent of the U.S. N95 mask standard — were seized at a Bangkok airport and did not reach their destined location.

The officials said that the masks had already been paid for by Germany.

“This is no way to treat trans-Atlantic partners,” Geisel said in his remarks addressing Washington on Friday. “Even in times of global crisis, there should be no wild west methods.”

The Berlin official added that the German government should demand that the U.S. respect international rules.

Reuters said the U.S. embassy in Berlin did not immediately provide any comment on the matter.

MH/PA

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