Coronavirus not to avert US maximum pressure on Iran: Hook

TEHRAN, Mar. 20 (MNA) – Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iranian Affairs, has announced that his country will continue its maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic, despite the outbreak of the lethal COVID-19 in Iran.

Our policy of maximum pressure on Iran continues, Reuters quoted him as saying.

“US sanctions are not preventing aid from getting to Iran,” he claimed, adding that Washington sent a diplomatic note to Tehran offering help with coronavirus “and it was quickly rejected.”

Despite US officials' claims, sanctions on imports of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to Iran have not been suspended and the US Treasury does not allow the imports of Iran's purchased medicine and medical equipment for treating coronavirus patients to the country.

Dealing with COVID-19, Iran is faced with major difficulties under draconian US sanctions.

Tehran has been forced to request an emergency $5-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The country has also asked other countries to disregard inhumane US sanctions.

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”.

Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations issued a message on Friday, warning of consequences of unilateral US sanctions on the health of people in Iran.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi announced on Friday that the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak, officially known as COVID-19, in Iran has risen to 1,433 with 19,644 confirmed cases.

MNA/PR

News Code 156915

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