Human rights necessitates lifting of illegitimate sanctions on Iran: advisor

March 15, 2020 - 15:11

TEHRAN - A top advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said from human rights perspective that removal of “unilateral” and “illegitimate” sanctions on Iran is essential as country is the battling to contain the deadly coronavirus.

“In a situation in which the coronavirus has become pandemic in the world, the human rights necessitates removal of unilateral and illegitimate sanctions against Iran,” Mehdi Sanaei tweeted on Saturday.

He added that other countries have responsibility towards the Iranians and must not follow the U.S. sanctions.

Iran is currently battling the world’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus in the Middle East, where it originated.

Iran has denounced the United States for impeding effective fight against the coronavirus through its sanctions, especially medical sanctions.

In a reference to Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, Zarif has said, ‘It is immoral to let a bully kill innocents.”

On Sunday, the death toll from coronavirus in Iran reached 724.  Also, the number of those who are confirmed to have contracted the virus has hit 13,938.
Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the United States’ sanctions impede Iran’s efforts in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

“Returned to New York from Tehran last night. People and government of Iran working hard to defeat Covid-19, but the U.S. sanctions impeding their efforts,” he tweeted on Friday.

He added, “High time for the U.S. to de-politicize this humanitarian endeavor and lift sanctions. International crises necessitate genuine international efforts.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has sent a letter to the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres urging the largest international body to disregard Washington’s sanctions on Tehran amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Zarif broke out the content of the letter to Guterres in a Tweet on Friday night, writing, “I urge the world body—and member states—to disregard inhuman U.S. sanctions on my country. And insist that they be lifted.”

“As the #COVID19 ravages Iran, we should recognize that viruses don't discriminate. To fight them, neither should humans,” he added, posting the following the two-page letter as attached photos.

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 ban on medicine medical supplies.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has said that the countries must not give in to the U.S. pressure and sanctions against Iran.

“The United States has sanctioned Iran, but we are not under sanctions of the [UN] Security Council. So, the countries are not obliged to follow the United States’ sanctions,” he told ISNA in an interview published on Wednesday.

He warned that all countries will be affected by the coronavirus if it is not contained.

In an article published by Common Dreams on Friday, it is said that the U.S. must lift sanctions on Iran to help stem the coronavirus.

“Among those in Iran who have been unable to get critical medications have been patients with leukemia, epidermolysis bullosa, epilepsy, and chronic eye injuries from exposure to chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war. Now coronavirus is added to that list,” it is said in the article.

“On February 19, Iran announced two cases of the coronavirus, reporting within hours that both patients had died… Per capita, it is currently the most heavily infected country in the Middle East and third in the world, after Italy and South Korea,” the article said.

It added, “If Iran is not able to stem the crisis, the virus will continue to spread throughout the Middle East and beyond.”