Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said US inhumane sanctions against the Islamic Republic are in contradiction to the United Nations’ regulations and humanitarian law, as they prevent delivery of drugs and humanitarian aid and have severed Iran’s international banking relations, particularly, now that the country is fighting against the new coronavirus spread.
Speaking in a phone conversation with his Tunisian counterpart, Kais Saied, on Monday, Rouhani added turning a blind eye to the present tough circumstances, the US government has, in a recent move, even intensified its cruel sanctions on Iran making it more difficult for the country to meet the needs of its people, according to president.ir.
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 in a fight against the coronavirus.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had blacklisted three Iranian entities for engaging in what he called “significant transactions” to trade in Iranian petrochemicals. While not naming any firms or individuals, Pompeo said the measure included blacklisting Iran’s armed forces social security investment company and its director for investing in the sanctioned entities.
In a separate statement, the US Commerce Department also said it would boycott a number of entities, including five Iranian nuclear scientists, for aiding Tehran’s nuclear program.
Rouhani urged the world’s countries to condemn US anti-human measures and pressure Washington into complying with UN regulations and upholding humanitarian principles.
He said as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Tunisia has a duty to join the international campaign against the cruel and inhumane sanctions against Iran.
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.
In defiance of the international outcry, the US claims that its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran does not stop the flow of humanitarian goods to the country.
He attached importance to the expansion of relations between Iran and Tunisia as well as their international and regional cooperation to establish peace and ensure security in the region and protect Palestinian people’s rights.
Rouhani also congratulated Saied on his election as Tunisia’s president and the occasion of Tunisian Independence Day (March 20) – the day when the African nation gained independence from France in 1956, expressing hope that Tehran and Tunis would, more than ever, expand relations and cooperation with each other and increase consultations and interactions on international and regional issues.
He said the formation of Tunisia’s new government provides the two countries with a new favorable opportunity to forge ties and foster collaborations with each other, stressing the importance of making efforts to develop, improve and strengthen all-out relations between the two countries.
Rouhani added to this end, both sides should use their capacities and capabilities.
Commenting on the coronavirus spread across the world, he said the outbreak has become a global problem whose resolution requires all countries to stand together.
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. It has infected and killed people in a large number of the countries.
On Monday, the speaker of Iran’s Health Ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said the total number of infections has reached 23,049 in the country, according to IRNA.
With 127 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,812, he added, regretting that 1,411 new cases have been identified in the past 24 hours. Jahanpour put the number of the recovered patients at 8,376.
“Today, saving humans’ lives and fighting the disease is in need of taking collective measures as well as collaborations at an international level.”
UN should belong to all
Appreciating Iran’s strong stances toward regional and international issues and those of the Muslim world, Saied said Tunisia attaches great importance to expanding all-out ties and cooperation with the Islamic Republic as well as improving the two countries’ historical relations.
Chastising US draconian sanctions against Iranian people, the Tunisian president said, “We believe that under the present circumstances that all countries are faced with the spread of the coronavirus, the UN should belong to all nations. Tunisia and Iran will certainly stand together in the face of different global challenges, including the coronavirus disease.