China: U.S. sanctions on Iran threatens people’s life

October 10, 2020 - 22:29

TEHRAN – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying says the United States’ sanctions on Iran and other countries pose a direct threat to ordinary people’s life and health due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

“The #US arbitrary unilateral economic blockade & financial sanctions on #Iran & other countries undermine their capability to develop economy & improve livelihood and affect the basic human rights of innocent civilians, including women, children, the elderly & the disabled,” Hua said on Friday, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account.

“With #COVID19 still spreading, the #US restrictions on transportation of medical supplies pose a direct threat to people's life & health. #China once again calls for the elimination of unilateral compulsory measures on #Iran,” she added.

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced it had imposed new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector in defiance of Washington’s European allies who warned of the humanitarian consequences of the sanctions on Iran’s fight against the coronavirus.

The new sanctions target the few remaining Iranian banks which were not subject to secondary sanctions.

In a tweet, U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo announced that the United States is sanctioning 18 major Iranian banks and identifying Iran’s financial sector.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the designation of 18 Iranian banks “reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States is seeking to blow up Iran’s remaining channels to pay for food and medicine.

“Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday. “Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties.”

He described conspiring to starve the Iranian population as a “crime against humanity”, adding, “Culprits & enablers—who block our money—WILL face justice.”

The new U.S. move is part of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, which Trump adopted after he unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear agreement in May 2018.

Trump is also hoping to clinch a foreign policy victory before the U.S. presidential election, which is scheduled for November 3. In recent weeks his chances of defeating Democratic rival Joe Biden have gone down significantly.