“US economic terrorism against Cuba, China, Russia, Syria, Iran & … deliberately target civilians, trying to achieve illegitimate political objectives through intimidation of innocent people,” the top Iranian diplomat said in a tweet on Friday.
Zarif's tweet came in reaction to an earlier tweet by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who criticized the US sanctions against Iran’s maritime entities.
"We salute Cuba and stand with it," Zarif said in his tweet in appreciation of his counterpart's comments.
The United States recently imposed sanctions on an Iranian shipping network – several tankers, companies and insurance firms – accusing it of supplying millions of barrels of oil to Syria.
The US Treasury Department announced the illegal sanctions on Wednesday on 16 entities, 10 people, including a former Iranian oil minister, and 11 vessels, as Washington continued its campaign of “maximum pressure” against Tehran and, seeking rise in tensions in the Middle East region.
According to an OFAC Advisory released by the US Treasury, the blacklisted vessels include Adrian Darya 1, Destiny, Happiness 1, Sinopa, Devrez, Delice, Bonita Queen, Jasmine, Sarak, Sobar, Solan, and Tour 2.
Foreign Policy published an article in August and revealed the impact of the US illegal sanctions on Iranian patients.
In the article, Dr. Abbas Kebriaee-Zadeh, professor of toxicology and pharmacology at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, wrote that the patient cancers in Iran are losing their lives as a result of US economic sanctions.
He said the US sanctions against Iran indirectly hamper the flow of vital medicines for cancer patients in the Islamic Republic.
The article reveals that while Washington claims its harsh sanctions against Iran would not target the flow of medicine and other humanitarian necessities into Iran, banking sanctions are in fact increasing import prices, blocking supply chains, and creating deadly drug shortages in the country.
Citing the US Census Bureau, Kebriaee-Zadeh added that under the administration of US President Donald Trump during the last two years, the US’s annual exports of pharmaceutical products to Iran declined to an average of $8.6 million a year compared to $26 million annually during the Barack Obama-era sanctions.
Washington under Trump has also made it more difficult for European countries to export medicine to the Islamic Republic, Kebriaee-Zadeh wrote.