Economic terrorism amid pandemic is crime against humanity: Araqchi

June 12, 2021 - 17:40

TEHRAN – Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday that the “economic terrorism” against Iran during the Coronavirus pandemic “is a crime against humanity”.

The economic sanctions launched against Iran during Donald Trump’s presidency are still in place despite the fact that Joe Biden had vowed to reenter the nuclear deal is he is elected president.

Trump quit the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and started introducing the harshest sanctions against Iran under his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have called the illegal U.S. sanctions against Iran as instances of “economic terrorism”. 

Araqchi says although Trump is no longer president his “unlawful and murderous sanctions” against Iran have not yet been lifted.

“Trump is gone, but his unlawful & murderous sanctions are still there. No need for crocodile tears when US efforts to immiserate 82 million Iranians are ongoing. Economic terrorism amid a PANDEMIC is a crime against humanity,” Araqchi wrote on his Twitter account.
Trump quit the nuclear deal in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that has endorsed the nuclear deal.

Despite calls by international bodies such as the United Nations, the United States, even under the Biden administration, has so far refused to relax sanctions against Iran as the country is hardest hit by the Covid-19. 

The death toll from Covid-19 in Iran has reached about 82,000.

Iran’s ambassador to the UN has also rejected a U.S. claim of policy change towards the multilateral nuclear deal, saying Washington is still pushing ahead with the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Friday, Majid Takht Ravanchi complained that the U.S. economic terrorism against the Iranian nation has hampered the import of medicines to the country.

“The current U.S. administration’s claim of policy change towards the JCPOA is just in words. In practice, the U.S. policy of maximum pressure still continues, preventing Iran from using its own financial resources abroad to import medicines,” Takht Ravanchi said.

Araqchi is leading the Iranian delegation in the nuclear deal talks in Vienna. The new round of nuclear talks intended to possibly restore the 2015 nuclear deal were to start on Saturday.

The nuclear deal talks have reached a sensitive stage. Diplomats say the talks have reached a stage which entails political decisions by Washington and Tehran.

Before resuming the sixth round of talks, negotiators had visited capitals for consultations with senior officials.

The talks are taking place within the framework of the JCPOA Joint Commission.

European signatories to the JCPOA – Britain, Germany, and France – are acting as intermediary between negotiators from Iran and the United States. Iran has been insisting that it will not enter direct talks if the U.S. does not rejoin the nuclear deal and lifts sanctions.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said the United States should first lift all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran in order to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

“To return to the deal, lifting sanctions on Iran first is the natural thing to do,” Wang said in an address to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Friday.

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