US sanctions hurting global health amid COVID-19: UN envoy

TEHRAN, Apr. 08 (MNA) – Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations says the US sanctions against other countries are aggravating the situation in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, adding that such an approach will hurt the whole world.

In a letter to the United Nations General Assembly, which was penned on Tuesday after the body adopted a resolution titled 'Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)', Takht-Ravanchi wrote, “In the current difficult situation in which the coronavirus has engulfed all countries and regions, international solidarity and cooperation are necessary because all countries are on one front in the fight against this pervasive disease.”

Referring to the US’ inhumane sanctions against several countries, the Iranian envoy said, “Such a situation will not only hurt the people of that country [the US], but it also is undermining the global fight against the pandemic and will hurt all the habitants of the Earth.”

“Removal of the US illegal sanctions is a must in the battle against the coronavirus, and it will benefit the whole world,” he stressed.

The international community has rebuked Washington’s hawkish policies toward other countries, including Iran, which have posed an unprecedented threat to global public health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Friday (April 3), the Group of 77 and China called for an end to unilateral sanctions against countries like Iran and Venezuela during the coronavirus crisis, warning they could hinder efforts to tackle the pandemic.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) also called on the United States government on Monday to ease the unjust sanctions against Iran, saying the economic bans have negatively affected the Islamic Republic’s ability to respond to the pandemic.

While the US government has built exemptions for humanitarian imports into its sanctions regime, Human Rights Watch research in October 2019 found that in practice, these exemptions have failed to offset the strong reluctance of US and European companies and banks to risk incurring sanctions and legal action by exporting or financing exempted humanitarian goods.

Moreover, and in line with its belligerent policies, the US has been reported to hijack medical supplies in different instances, even from its global allies.

Germany has accused Washington of redirecting three million Germany-bound masks for its own use, in a move condemned as "modern piracy".

France has also said while the regional leaders are struggling to secure medical supplies as American buyers outbid them.

MNA/IRN83742897

News Code 157365

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