‘Policy of maximum pressure shows lack of knowledge about containing coronavirus, Iranian ambassador to France says

April 11, 2020 - 19:39

TEHRAN - Bahram Qassemi, Iran’s ambassador to France, has said that those who impose policy of sanctions and maximum pressure do not know fighting the coronavirus pandemic requires collective efforts.

“Some are still trying to impose policy of sanctions and maximum pressure with political objectives. Depriving the countries of their own financial resources and preventing them to access international financial resources show they do not know this sickness must be countered through collective efforts,” he tweeted on Saturday.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that sanctions on Iran must not prevent delivery of humanitarian aid to Iran when the country is fighting the coronavirus.

“In the case of the United Nations and the European Union, it is quite clear that our sanctions are not a problem from the point of view of facilitating humanitarian aid. But we ask that this be done [also] by other countries that have established sanctions, and that there be humanitarian exemptions to provide medical supplies and equipment to the countries that are subject to sanctions: Cuba, Iran, the North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, [so that sanctions] do not prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid,” he said on Monday at a press conference, according to EU website.

He added, “I think that it is absolutely necessary to clarify this subject, because there are financial actors who are very reluctant to participate in the flow of humanitarian aid because they are afraid of falling under sanctions. It is imperative that this be made clear, that in these circumstances, more than ever, there will be no sanctions for those who participate in the exchange of goods and services which have to do with more necessary humanitarian aid.”

In addition to its refusal to lift its illegal sanctions against Iran amid the coronavirus pandemic, Washington is adding to the list of its sanctions and even preventing the International Monetary Fund to give loans to Iran to contain the deadly virus. 

President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that the IMF must fulfil its duties unbiasedly.

“In this difficult situation, the International Monetary Fund must not be influenced by mischievous acts of the enemies of the Iranian people and fulfil its duties,” Rouhani said in a phone conversation with Iranian central banker Abdolnasser Hemmati.

Hemmati, for his part, said Iran’s request was being presented to the IMF executive board, and that Tehran was intent to pursue the demand.

Iran’s central bank wrote last month to the IMF to request the $5bn from its Rapid Financing Initiative, an emergency program that gives loans to countries facing with sudden shocks such as natural disasters.

It was Tehran’s first request for IMF loan since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Hemmati wrote on his Instagram page on Thursday, “We expect the IMF to immediately respond to the request of Iran which itself is a founding member of the fund.”

In a tweet on March 26, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Even the world's largest economy (the U.S.) needs others to help it fight the pandemic, yet refuses to halt its Economic Terrorism against Iran.”

Zarif said the Covid-19 is ravaging the world and sparing no nation.  

“Does the U.S. want a ‘forever pandemic’?” Zarif asked.

The chief diplomat said it is “moral imperative to stop observing the bully's sanctions”. 

NA/PA

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