US economic, banking restrictions on Iran 'crime against humanity' amid pandemic

TEHRAN, Apr. 04 (MNA) –Iran's Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva said in a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) chief that the imposition and intensification of US sanctions on Iran amidst the coronavirus pandemic amount to a "crime against humanity".

In a letter to Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday, Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh said the imposition of the cruel and illegal sanctions on Iran, which has resulted in the ordinary Iranian people being denied access to medicine and medical equipment and services, clearly exemplifies a crime against humanity.

He added that the sanctions have blocked Iran's banking interaction with other countries in order to buy commodities required in the fight against the coronavirus and warned that the illegal restrictions are a serious threat to Tehran's efforts to battle and contain the virus.

The Iranian envoy stressed the importance of rolling back international sanctions regimes around the world as emphasized by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who had said in a letter to the G-20 economic powers that the sanctions are heightening the health risks for millions of people and weakening the global containment endeavor.

“I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion,” the UN chief wrote.

“Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.”

Elsewhere in his letter, Baghaei Hamaneh said the intensification of US economic and banking restrictions on Iran amidst the pandemic runs counter to international regulations, adding that the White House shoulders an international responsibility in this regard.

The United States has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and even tightened them several times in recent weeks, hampering Iran's efforts to contain the virus as Washington restricts Tehran's access to life-saving medications and medical equipment.

Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution for the first time on the coronavirus pandemic, calling for “multilateralism” in the fight against the virus, but failed to condemn unilateral US sanctions against countries.


News Code 157201


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