Iran expects India, world to stand up against US sanctions: envoy

TEHRAN, Apr. 15 (MNA) – Iran expects India and the rest of the world community to stand against the “unjust” US sanctions that are hurting millions of Iranians amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Iranian Ambassador to New Delhi Ali Chegeni said.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Chegeni said, “Despite the brutal and inhumane US sanctions, our situation is relatively good in fighting the pandemic in comparison with some other countries.”

He noted that while Iran “could not take advantage of the experiences of others while it was among the countries hardest hit by the highly contagious virus, now, hopefully, the curve shows that the pandemic is falling in the peak as the number of new infection cases has dropped from 3,200 to 1,600 on a daily basis.”

However, he said, “The Iranian health sector, although among the most resilient in the region and the world, has been affected directly and indirectly by these unjust, illegal and inhumane sanctions.”

“In a hypocritical way, the US administration has claimed that humanitarian supplies, including food and medicine, are exempted from anti-Iran sanctions, but freezing Iran’s financial assets in various countries, banning Iranian banks and denying Iran’s access to SWIFT for funds transfer and clear threats against several foreign banks have deterred them from doing any such humanitarian businesses with Tehran,” he added.

Chegeni said, “More important for the stay at home order, we needed to support the people by relief packages but as I mentioned, Iran’s assets have been blocked by the US administration.”

The Iranian ambassador reiterated that “we expect that the international community, including India, [to] stand against the unjust and extraterritorially imposed sanctions that are hurting millions of Iranians as well as other nations who have been paying a high price in this time of the pandemic.”

He also talked about India-Iran cooperation to tackle the pandemic, saying, “The close consultations of both countries’ health ministers and sharing experiences and the lessons learned in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic are very important and it could be more effective in a regional initiative.”

“We could also cooperate on the development of medicines and vaccines as we do share great scientific and technological capacities together with research and development centers in our countries,” Chegeni added.

The ambassador noted that “considering the unpredictability of the situation, it is important to look at possible options to continue exchanges of goods and commodities according to uniform health protocols.”

“Moreover, this ongoing pandemic could be a way forward to boost mutual economic cooperation and partnership,” he noted.

Referring to about 5,000 Indians residing in Iran, Chegeni said, “Both countries, in close and warm contact, have worked together to evacuate their stranded nationals and until now, eight batches of Indian nationals were transferred to India by seven Iranian airliners and one aircraft of the Indian Air Force, and the local authorities and Indian missions in Iran are providing all possible humanitarian assistance to the remaining Indians, including pilgrims, students, and fisherman.”

He noted that from the very beginning of the pandemic, the government of Iran along with some local NGOs rushed to meet the treatment demands of foreign nationals, including Indians.

“Recently they have been accommodated in some good hotels and guesthouse advised by Qom governorate under supervision and credit of Indian embassy in Tehran,” he said, adding that “those who have tested positive, have been immediately hospitalized and offered the necessary medical treatment free of charge by Iran’s government, and Indian embassy is following their situation closely.”

MNA/FNA13990127000397/PR

News Code 157640

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