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21 March 2020 - 14:08
News ID: 449690
COVID-19 crisis:
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on the US to remove its "unjust" sanctions against Iran as international condemnation is growing against the bans amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.

RNA - "I would stress and insist to the international community to lift the sanctions on Iran," Khan told reporters on Friday.  

He added, "It is very unjust they are dealing with such a large outbreak on one side, and on the other they are facing international sanctions."

Imran Khan’s call echoed an outcry on national and international levels against US sanctions, with Russia, China, as well as different medical organizations and rights groups urging the administration of US President Donald Trump to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said on Friday that the total number of infections had reached 19,644 in the country.

“With 149 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,433. Unfortunately, we had 1,237 new cases since yesterday,” he said on state TV.

Raisi also put the number of those so far recovered from the infection at 6,745.

The deputy minister further said that the provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, and Gilan have registered the highest number of cases of infection while 13 provinces have seen a big drop.

Qatar sends 2nd consignment of medical aid to Iran

Qatar has sent its second cargo of medical aid to Iran to help the country in its fight against the spread of the virus, media reports said on Friday.

The consignment consists of seven tons of medical equipment and supplies.

Iran took delivery of the fist consignment on March 15. The aid dispatch comes upon directives from Qatar’s Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, according to Qatari media.

Keeping Iran sanctions in place ‘supervillain-level cruelty’

In a tweet on Saturday, US congresswoman Ilhan Omar once again called for the removal of sanctions against Iran, calling the bans ‘supervillain-level cruelty’ as the country struggles to deal with the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

A person dies from coronavirus every 10 minutes in Iran
50 become infected every hour.
Keeping in place economic sanctions on Iran right now is just supervillain-level cruelty.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 20, 2020

In a similar tweet on March 14, she wrote, "We need to suspend these sanctions before more lives are lost".

UK petition urges suspension of Iran sanctions

A petition calling on the British government and parliament to suspend sanctions against Iran for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic has already been launched.

“Sanctions against Iran should be lifted immediately to help its populace and prevent the global spread of infection,” the petition states.

You can sign the petition here which was launched following the coronavirus outbreak in Iran in February.

‘Brutal US sanctions tarnishing America’s history’

In a message issued to the American people on Friday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said "brutal" US sanctions unilaterally imposed on the Iranian nation are robbing a great number of Iranians of health, jobs and sources of income.

He said, "At a time that the Iranian people are harmed by both the deadly coronavirus and the most brutal form of US economic terrorism in history, the US government is not willing to abandon its malicious policy of maximum pressure; and is thus in practice aiding the spread of this virus with its sanctions."

Rouhani urged the American people not to allow the current administration’s hostile attitude toward Iran to tarnish history of their country.

He said, “The Iranian people value friendship and respect based on the principles of dignity and humanity and respond positively to overtures based on such values. Simultaneously, they are ready to resist pressure and threats, as they have heroically throughout history.” 

Also in a letter sent to a number of world leaders on March 14, Rouhani said unlike many countries infected with coronavirus, the Islamic Republic is faced with serious obstacles and restrictions emanating from two years of extensive and illegal sanctions, a maximum pressure campaign as well as systematic acts of sabotage by the US administration.

He added that it was not possible for any country to handle the dangerous crisis by itself let alone a country that has numerous problems in having access to international financial markets and supplying its required commodities.

The president said the fight against the coronavirus is an international duty and asked the world leaders to adopt strategies within the framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 to thwart illegal US sanctions against the Iranian people and counter Washington's economic terrorism.

The US reinstated its sanctions against Iran in May 2018 after leaving a UN-endorsed nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Tehran sued Washington at the International Court of Justice afterwards. The tribunal ruled that the US should lift its sanctions on humanitarian supplies.

The United States, which falsely claims that its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran does not stop the flow of humanitarian goods, imposed new sanctions this week.

The Trump administration blacklisted five companies based in the United Arab Emirates, three in mainland China, three in Hong Kong and one in South Africa for trade in Iran’s petrochemicals.

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