Larijani urges lift of U.S. ‘inhuman’ sanctions on Iran amid coronavirus crisis

March 10, 2020 - 13:41

TEHRAN – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has urged the international community to help lift the “inhuman” sanctions, against Tehran by the United States as Iran is in the midst of the campaign to contain the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

In separate letters to president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, secretary-general of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly and also parliament speakers of the Asian and Islamic countries, Larijani expressed regret over the United States’ “inhuman” sanctions against Iran which is creating impediments in the battle against the coronavirus’s spread.

He urged the international community to adopt “principled” stance for immediate removal of sanctions against Iran, especially medical sanctions.

According to a report released on Friday by the Intercept, despite a massive coronavirus-related public health crisis, an anti-Iran pressure group with close ties to the Trump administration is urging major pharmaceutical companies to “end their Iran business,” focusing on companies with special licenses — most often under a broadly defined “humanitarian exemption” — to conduct trade with Iran. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted sharply to the move on Saturday, saying U.S. President Donald Trump is intensifying unilateral sanctions on Tehran amid COVID-19 outbreak across Iran. 
Zarif said the move is nothing but “medical terrorism”.

“Donald Trump is maliciously tightening U.S. illegal sanctions with aim of draining Iran’s resources needed in the fight against COVID19—while our citizens are dying from it,” Zarif tweeted.

The foreign minister added, “The world can no longer be silent as U.S. Economic Terrorism is supplanted by its Medical Terrorism.”

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a senior foreign policy advisor to the Iranian parliament speaker, has also denounced the United States for not allowing shipment of coronavirus medical equipment to Iran, saying the U.S. is targeting ordinary Iranians.

“The USA has not allowed shipment of #COVID19 medicines/medical equipment to #Iran,” Amir Abdollahian said in a tweet on Saturday.

Iran is currently battling the world’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus outside China, where it originated.

The virus first emerged in China in December last year and is now spreading in North America, Europe and across the Middle East, sparking fears of a global pandemic. The virus is spreading rapidly in the region, with cases recorded in many countries.
Until Monday, the deadly virus killed over 230 Iranian citizens and infected more than 7,000.