Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks on Thursday at a UN Security Council meeting to review the impact of the coronavirus, stressing that the lifting of sanctions is necessary to counter the spread of the flu-like pathogen in the targeted countries as well as across the world.
Takht-Ravanchi said the unilateral sanctions by the US on countries like Iran, Syria, and Yemen mostly impact coronavirus patients as the measures hamper efforts by the affected countries to import medical equipment and medicines needed to fight the disease, Press TV wrote.
“These unilateral sanctions effectively target patients the most, and show how immoral, inhumane, and illegitimate these sanctions are,” the Iranian envoy to the UN said.
Stressing that the US sanctions work to the detriment of the whole world, Takht-Ravanchi described the novel coronavirus as the “common enemy of mankind” and said the only way to combat the epidemiological crisis is through practical solidarity and global cooperation.
In recent months, calls have been growing inside the US and abroad for Washington to lift its unilateral sanctions, which are throwing a wrench into global efforts to rein in the respiratory disease known as COVID-19.
The UN, the European Union, and human rights organizations as well as several American lawmakers and political figures have been pressing the US administration to ease the bans on Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba, and North Korea, among others on the sanctions list.
The United States reinstated its sanctions against Iran in May 2018 after leaving a UN-endorsed multilateral nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and five other countries.
Iran has been among the countries hardest hit by COVID-19, recording 235,429 infections and 11,260 deaths so far.
The anti-Iran measures have blocked the country’s access to global markets and lifesaving medical supplies.
The new coronavirus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and quickly spread to the rest of the world.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the number of people infected with the new coronavirus has now surpassed 10.8 million globally, while more than 521,000 people have so far lost their lives due to the infection.
The latest figures indicate that the global caseload stands at 10, 869,739 and the world’s death toll at 521,298.
The United States, with 128,740 fatalities, accounts for a quarter of the deaths. It also has reported some 2,739,879 confirmed cases of the viral infection. Both figures are the world’s highest.