By staff and agency

Unilateral sanctions deal a heavy blow to citizens in Iran: Lavrov

April 21, 2020 - 19:5

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the United States’ illegal unilateral sanctions amid the coronavirus pandemic deal a heavy blow to citizens in a range of states, first of all Iran, Syria and North Korea.

He told a video conference with the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund’s delegates that these countries cannot purchase equipment, medicines, and special protective gear, TASS reported on Tuesday.

“The Western states, first of all, the U.S., have strongly rejected a proposal on declaring a humanitarian pause and exempting the supplies of goods needed to combat the pandemic from any sanctions,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had earlier called on the G20 to lift sanctions against other countries in order to effectively combat the coronavirus spread.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also backed the idea of canceling or suspending sanctions amid the pandemic.

Medicines and medical equipment are technically exempt from the U.S. sanctions, but purchases are frequently blocked by the unwillingness of banks to process transactions for fear of incurring large penalties in the United States.

NA/PA

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