Foreign Policy
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:11
UN Chief Underlines Necessity for Removal of US Sanctions against Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed the need for Washington to lift sanctions against Iran which have weakened the country’s anti-coronavirus efforts.

During the conversation late on Friday, Zarif and Guterres discussed the latest developments about Iran's combat with coronavirus outbreak as well as the obstacles hindering it.

Guterres, for his part, expressed solidarity with the Iranian nation, and stressed the need for removing sanctions imposed on the Iranian nation in a bid to help them successfully fight the killer virus spread.

Zarif appreciated the UN-affiliated organizations' stances and assistance, underlining the necessity to lift the US cruel, inhumane, illegal and unilateral sanctions against the Iranian nation.

The talks were held amid an outcry on national and international levels against US sanctions, with Russia, China, Pakistan as well as different medical organizations and rights groups urging the administration of US President Donald Trump to lift sanctions against Iran.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 170 countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 11,400 people and infected over 276,000 others globally.

Iran reported on Friday 1,433 fatalities and 19,644 cases of infection. Meanwhile, 6,745 people have recovered.

The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and universities have been extended for the next two weeks.

The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s north, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced earlier this month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.

Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.

He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.

Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.

He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.

Namaki said that the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 22, and will increase to 40 soon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran's response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.

The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.

The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.

 

 

 

 

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