US’ anti-Iranian sanctions “insensitive and inhumane”, says Indian professor

TEHRAN, Mar. 20 (MNA) – Imposing fresh sanctions on Iran, which is one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, is “insensitive and inhumane” on the US part, said prominent Indian Professor B.R. Deepak from the Centre of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

While China showed its friendly face to the world by extending support to various European nations after battling the coronavirus pandemic, fresh US sanctions on Iran have raised concerns among the international community as to how they might affect Tehran’s efforts to contain the outbreak of the virus.

According to Sputnik, the professor believes that the penalties imposed on Iran by the Trump administration will intensify the consequences on the lives of citizens as it will further constrain the country’s ability to finance imports, including medical support and supplies, posing a threat to the lives of people.

“A pandemic like corona doesn’t have any borders. It doesn’t see any difference between the powerful and weak. To impose sanctions at this stage is not humane. We can now say that China has triumphed over the coronavirus as no fresh case has been detected in the country in the last few days. The world should learn from China", said Bali R Deepak, Centre of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday announced new sanctions against nine entities for allegedly doing business with three blacklisted people in Iran’s oil industry - shortly after Tehran called on Washington to lift the economic restrictions as they prevent the country from adequately responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It is an extension of the hegemonic contest which has been going on for some time and China has challenged the US hegemony over years and even destroyed it", said Deepak further claiming that China’s experience in tackling the coronavirus could be beneficial to other counties.

Iran’s health ministry on Thursday announced 149 new deaths due to COVID-19, raising the toll to 1,284. It is one of the worst-hit countries after China and Italy.

Tehran has been forced to request an emergency $5-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund due to the coronavirus outbreak. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged help from several world leaders, writing to inform them how the country’s fight against pandemic has been severely hampered by the US sanctions while its foreign minister Javad Zarif accused the US government of “medical terrorism”.

The professor in New Delhi noted that collaboration by the international communities, especially India and China, to fight the coronavirus is what is needed the hour. He recognised that Beijing’s experience in effectively tackling the virus would be beneficial for all countries across the globe.

The mushrooming cases of coronavirus in South Asia has become a major concern for poorer countries already struggling with high population and low socio-economic status at the regional level. The professor fears that it might take generations for these counties to recover from the impact of the spread of the virus.

“The collaboration of all countries in the world should share information, develop procedure to deal with the outbreak. China has huge importance as it has quarantined a huge population. It is the right time for countries to bury their differences and deal with the pandemic", said Deepak.

MNA/Sputnik

News Code 156905

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