Zarif discusses U.S. sanctions with Cuban FM

May 2, 2020 - 20:55

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has discussed the “illegal” and “unilateral” sanctions of the United States with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla.

In a phone conversation, the two foreign ministers also discussed cooperation in fighting the coronavirus.

Donald Trump’s administration is not only refusing to remove its illegal sanctions on Iran, but it is also blocking Tehran’s efforts to get an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund to cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Zarif has said the U.S. has extended its “economic terrorism” against Iran to “medical terrorism”.
 
“This even ‘exceeds what would be permissible on the battlefield’,” Zarif tweeted in late March.
 
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday condemned the United States’ sanctions on Iran as the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“I consider myself duty-bound to support Iran against the illegal acts of the United States,” Khan said in a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani.

Rouhani said on Monday that the United States’ sanctions are against the fundamental human rights.

“Illegal opposition, when all the countries in the world are fighting the coronavirus, can be dangerous,” Rouhani said in a phone conversation with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

On March 31, a UN human rights expert called for lifting international sanctions against countries ranging from Iran to North Korea and Venezuela in coronavirus crisis, according to Reuters.

“The continued imposition of crippling economic sanctions on Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, and, to a lesser degree, Zimbabwe, to name the most prominent instances, severely undermines the ordinary citizens’ fundamental right to sufficient and adequate food,” Hilal Elver, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a statement.

In a letter to the G-20 economic powers on March 24, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for rolling back international sanctions regimes around the world. 

Guterres said sanctions are heightening the health risks for millions of people and weakening the global effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Foreign Policy reported.

“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,” he said.

“Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world,” the UN chief said.

NA/PA

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