Ex-Rouhani aide urges people to sign anti-sanctions petition

March 17, 2020 - 10:38

TEHRAN — The secretary-general of the Women’s Rights Protection Society has called on people to join a campaign urging the U.S. Treasury to immediately lift sanctions on Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Join the demand that the @USTreasury immediately lift the sanctions! #PeaceWithIran,” said Shahindokht Molaverdi via Twitter, publishing an online petition launched by Code Pink.

Molaverdi, who served as a presidential aide for civil rights in Hassan Rouhani’s first term, also said the U.S. sanctions increases the number of coronavirus victims in Iran.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, urging the body to disregard Washington’s illegal sanctions on Tehran.

In part of his letter released on Thursday, Zarif said, “While the virus ravages our cities and towns, our population—unlike those of other countries affected—suffer under the most severe and indiscriminate campaign of economic terrorism in history, imposed illegally and extra-territorially by the Government of the United States since it reneged on its commitments under Security Council Resolution 2231 in May 2018.”

Resolution 2231, adopted in July 2015, endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal and annulled all the previous sanctions resolutions against Iran. 

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has renewed calls for the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran, as the country's crippled healthcare system struggles to deal with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the Middle East Eye reported on Friday.  

"We need to suspend these sanctions before more lives are lost," Omar said via Twitter on Friday, retweeting an earlier post made by well-known Iranian-American activist Hoda Katebi.

Omar had been calling for an end to sanctions against Iran before the start of the outbreak.

"This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare," Omar tweeted in January. "They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran.

"You cannot claim to want de-escalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response!"