Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said discussions are underway at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to pass a resolution to lift all sanctions under the present circumstances that the world is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a cabinet session on Wednesday, Rouhani added they are actively pursuing the issue at the UN.
Commenting on his phone conversation with an official of a non-permanent member state of the Security Council, the president quoted him as saying, “Our plan is ready and we intend to present it to the Security Council."
Rounhani continued, "Efforts are focused on releasing Iran’s frozen assets in other countries under the current circumstances. Good steps are being taken to this end.”
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. To comply with the sanctions, which have targeted mainly Iran’s oil and banking sector, a number of countries froze the money they would send to Iran under normal circumstances as payments for their imports. The sanctions have also impeded delivery of drugs, medical equipment and humanitarian aid to Iran while the country is in a fight against the coronavirus spread.
In addition, Rouhani said, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also initiated a good move aimed at changing the global public opinion and convincing the world to “say no to sanctions”.
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 Wednesday, the speaker of Iran’s Health Ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said the total number of infections has reached 27,017 in the country, according to IRNA.
With 143 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 2,077, he added, regretting that 2,206 new cases have been identified in the past 24 hours. Jahanpour put the number of the recovered patients at 9,625.
International humanitarian aid
On Iran’s reaction to the delivery of international humanitarian aid to the country, he said Iran welcomes such assistance by any country to fight the coronavirus.
“Some countries have sent masks and medical equipment to Iran, which have been received in the country.”
Rouhani emphasized that Iran’s basis is to help any country needing it and accept aid sent by those willing to provide assistance.
On the country’s hospital capacity, he gave the assurance that up to now, Iran has faced no shortage in terms of free beds, nurses or physicians.
“Even in most of our cities and provinces, the ICUs have free capacity.”
Turning to efforts by the government to implement social-distancing measures, the president said the closure of inessential places and businesses across the cities was aimed at protecting people’s lives and health.
In addition, close to 2.5 million of public organizations’ staff are still on leave, Rouani said, noting that a minority group, comprising a large population per se, involved in the domestic health care system are, however, at work making round-the-clock efforts.
“Nevertheless, in other sectors, only one-third of the employees go to work on a rotating shift basis.”
He stressed that, “Since we are responsible for supplying water, electricity and foodstuff to people and sending agro crops to the domestic market, all those who work in the production sector and all the factories that produce foodstuffs and detergents are required to operate at full capacity.”
The president expressed satisfaction with the fact that Iranian people are at present faced with no problem for meeting their essential needs.
Rouhani said progress has been made in the field of screening people for coronavirus symptoms in the country, saying Implementation of screening measures helps accelerate containment of the coronavirus spread.
on Wednesday, Jahanpour said over 47.5 million in Iran have been screened for coronavirus symptoms.
He said reports by the Ministry of Health shows that “we are past the first wave of the disease”, warning that the country will face a second wave of infections in coming days which must be controlled and managed.
The president assured people that the government is doing its best to meet their basic needs and contain the spread as soon as possible.
Commenting on the implementation of a strict social-distancing plan to curb the coronavirus spread in the country, Rouhani said, “Today, a large number of businesses are facing problems. Nevertheless, this plan must be in place until April 4. It will be launched as of today.”
He added stricter measures will be employed in the country as of Thursday to protect people’s lives and health, calling on Iranians to be prepared for them.