In a Monday phone conversation with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced US illegal and unilateral sanctions against Iran as an obstacle to the battle with the global pandemic, Press TV reported.
He called on the UK to defy US cruel sanctions against the Iranian nation under such circumstances, both on the basis of London’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Tehran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and for human considerations.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA and reimposed Washington’s sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions have hindered the delivery of drugs, medical equipment and international humanitarian aid to Iran amid the coronavirus spread in the country.
He also praised the EU and three European parties to the JCPOA – the UK, France and Germany – for sending aid to Iran for the fight against coronavirus.
The phone conversation came shortly after the Iranian ambassador to the UK announced Britain has agreed to pay an outstanding £400 million debt it owes to Iran plus the interest.
“The legal process of this long-running case, which has been going on for more than 50 years, is nearing its end,” Hamid Baeidinejad said in an interview with Iranian newspaper Etemad.
“The court has ordered the British government to pay the Iranian debt plus interest, and this cannot be changed. At the same time, the opposing lawyers have tried to use every legal opportunity to delay the practical execution of the court’s decision,” Baeidinejad added.
‘EU must not abide by US sanctions’
Earlier in the day, Zarif also raised the issue of US sanctions in a separate phone conversation with the foreign minister of Croatia, the rotating president of the EU.
In his phone talk with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Grlić-Radman, the Iranian minister emphasized that the EU must not abide by the US unilateral and unlawful sanctions.
He said the EU should do this not only as a JCPOA obligation, but also to prevent the deaths of innocent Iranians due to the cruel US sanctions.
The Croatian foreign minister, in turn, expressed solidarity with the Iranian government and nation in their fight against the epidemic, and offered his condolences to the families of the victims.
Hit by US sanctions, Iran has been trying to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus which so far has infected some 14,000 people and killed 853 until Monday.
The virus has infected more than 180,000 people worldwide and killed over 7,000. Close to 70,000 people worldwide have recovered after being infected, according to worldometers.info.
The new virus, a respiratory disease also known as COVID-19, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year.