1219 GMT April 04, 2020
Those who passively comply with the whims of unilateralist bullies, must wake up to the reality that they are also responsible for the destructive ramifications of aggressive unilateralism, said the Iranian foreign minister.
Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remark in an address to the countries abiding by Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran, particularly, now that Iran is struggling to curb the new coronavirus spread in the absence of sufficient resources, in a congratulatory video message in English posted on his Twitter account on the occasion of Norouz holidays (March 20-April 1) marking the arrival of the New Year in Iran.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. The sanctions mainly targeted Iran’s oil exports in a bid, as claimed by Washington, to reduce the country’s overseas sales to “zero” and damage the domestic economy. They have also impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid, drugs and medical equipment to Iran amid the coronavirus spread.
He said Iran is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus, even as like other nations, it is now learning how to better confront it, adding sadly, a huge part of the danger Iranians face is due to restrictions unjustly imposed on them by the US government.
The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year and is currently affecting more than 160 countries and territories across the globe.
In Iran, the total number of infections has reached 17,361. Also, the fatality count increased on Wednesday to 1,135, with 147 news deaths, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. A total of 5,710 patients have fully recovered.
Iran, today, is the most intensely sanctioned country in history, not in line with the United Nations’ decisions, but contrary to them, the minister regretted.
“The economic siege imposed on us impedes all legitimate trade and deprives us of our own resources, the ones necessary to address the needs of our people including their health and livelihoods.”
Even amid this pandemic, the US government has vengefully refused to lift its unlawful and collective punishment, making it virtually impossible for Iran to even buy medicine and medical equipment, he stressed.
The bigger tragedy is that many companies and countries who officially oppose these sanctions have chosen to comply with them, Zarif said, adding perhaps they do so in hopes of avoiding the future wrath of the US despite President Trump, time and again, proving that this is just wishful thinking.
“Allow me to be frank. We are all in this together. To better confront the virus we need to better work together. But to get there, the war on multilateralism, international cooperation and the rule of law must come to an end.”
“Today I am not solely addressing you as my country’s representative, but as a fellow human being. At a time when we Iranians normally celebrate Norouz, our New Year, concurrent with the arrival of spring, we are faced with multiple and historic challenges. I can assure you that we Iranians, relying on millennia of civilizations and unified national resilience, will overcome these challenges and emerge as a stronger and more compassionate community. I wholeheartedly wish the same for all my fellow human beings.”
However, he stressed, human beings are capable of adopting a more emphatic and, eventually, a more prudent approach towards one another, one premised on mutual respect and equal footing.
“It takes will, courage and moral imperative. And if we are to make the world, that will emerge from COVID-19 a better one, it is vital that we seize the opportunity to forge a new path.”
Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.