News ID: 266983
Published: 0657 GMT March 19, 2020

Envoy: Iran only country deprived of medicine imports due to US sanctions

Envoy: Iran only country deprived of medicine imports due to US sanctions

Iran’s ambassador to Spain said his country is the only state in the world that cannot buy medicine and medical equipment from the global market because of “cruel and inhumane” US sanctions, which are hindering its fight against a coronavirus outbreak.

Hassan Qashqavi made the remarks in an interview with Spain's La Razon newspaper on Wednesday, presstv.ir reported.
He added that any banking transaction requires permission from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which blocks foreign firms from engaging in transactions and trade with countries on Washington's sanctions list.
The Iranian official described the bans as an “outright cruelty and a serious violation of humanitarian principles by a bullying and unilateralist power.”
The Americans have taken advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to make the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran more effective, he said.
By using “unfounded and fabricated” news and spreading rumors through their affiliated media empire, including the anti-Iran Persian-language media based abroad, the Americans are working hard to divert the world’s public opinion from their inhumane acts, he said.
 
‘Countries should not observe US bans’
 
Similarly, Head of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights Ali Baqeri-Kani on Wednesday slammed Washington’s sanctions and bullying, saying most of the European countries are abiding by the bans, which are throwing a wrench in the Islamic Republic’s fight against COVID-19.
The Europeans who claim to be advocates of human rights should be ashamed of their behavior at a time when Iran is grappling with the fast-spreading virus, he said.
“The countries that do not cooperate with Iran in the coronavirus issue should be aware that they will be the cause of the spread and the international community should not remain silent on it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, called on the international community to take actions against US sanctions.
“Leaders of world states, particularly those in the region, should immediately react to America’s bullying measures and sanctions, which have blocked the Iranian nation’s access to medical supplies,” he said in an article published in Pakistani press on Thursday.
Iranian officials say the continued imposition of sanctions on Iran is contrary to the spirit of humanitarianism.
Hundreds of thousands of trained foot soldiers, volunteers, public health workers and specialists have been dispatched to affected regions up and down the country to identify people with this new infectious disease.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the US to lift the sanctions it has illegally reimposed on humanitarian supplies to Iran.
The US claims it does not get in the way of food and medicine exports to Iran, but Tehran says Washington has been creating problems for a Swiss humanitarian channel launched to enable the transfer of commodities to Iran.
The virus first emerged in China and later reached other countries across the continents, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the disease as a pandemic.
Over the past weeks, calls have been growing on the world stage for the US to lift its illegal sanctions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many governments say the sanctions regime had severely affected Iran’s health care system at a time when all countries need to join forces against the pandemic.
   
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