1053 GMT April 05, 2020
Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has derided claims by the White House officials about sanctions not impeding delivery of foodstuff, drugs and humanitarian aid to Iran, saying it is currently impossible to conduct banking transactions with the country’s banks.
In a post on its Twitter account, the MFA challenged American citizens and Iranian expatriates in the US to try and see if they could conduct a simple transaction at a nearby bank to purchase and send something to Iran, saying if they managed to do so, submit the documents to the US Department of State.
The post was published in response to the claim by the US Department of State that Washington’s sanctions do not impede delivery of foodstuff, drugs and humanitarian supplies to Iran.
The post read:
A friendly reminder:
If you managed to have a simple transaction from a nearby bank to buy and send a blister pack of Advil, 1 lb of grain or a single surgical mask to #Iran or to your relatives there, please send the evidence to @StateDept.”
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 have hindered, among many other things, the delivery of international humanitarian aid, drugs and medical equipment to Iran, particularly, now that the country is fighting against the coronavirus.
US officials have refused to lift the sanctions which are hampering Iran's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. They have instead claimed readiness to aid Iranians, with President Donald Trump saying "all they have to do is ask", according to Press TV.
Earlier, Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iranian Affairs, told reporters that Washington would continue its so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran despite the coronavirus outbreak, saying, "US sanctions are not preventing aid from getting to Iran."
In response to Hook’s remarks, in a tweet on Friday, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs said the US administration “gleefully takes pride in killing Iranians on Nowruz” – the first day of the Iranian calendar year (falling on March 20 this year).
He added the White House is demonstrating a new level of inhumanity as it has turned a blind eye to the coronavirus infected people who are losing their lives on a daily basis in Iran as a consequence of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
He gave the assurance that Iran will eventually overcome the daunting challenge it is currently facing, warning the US that the country’s inhumane policies will bring it lasting notoriety.
His post read: “The White House takes its "maximum pressure" to a new level of inhumanity with its utter contempt for human life. Iran to US: Your policy will live in infamy. But Iran won't break.”
As part of international efforts to support Iran in the fight against the virus, so far, countries such as Russia, China, Pakistan and Greece have publically called on the US to lift its sanctions. This comes as the UK has also been reported to be privately pressing the US to ease the sanctions on Iran, according to theguardian.com.
Moreover, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as well as 25 other national organizations – including NIAC Action, Truman National Security Project, MoveOn, Win Without War, and Ploughshares Fund – have called on Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to loosen the administration’s crippling sanctions on Iran in order to aid the Iranian people’s fight against the virus.
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 a large number of countries and territories across the globe.
On Sunday, the speaker of Iran’s Health Ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said the total number of infections has reached 21,638 in the country, according to ISNA.
With 129 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,685, he added, regretting that 1,028 new cases have been identified in the past 24 hours.
Jahanpour put the number of the recovered patients at 7,913.