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23 March 2020 - 10:37
News ID: 449714
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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged US President Donald Trump to lift unilateral sanctions that his administration has imposed on Iran as Tehran is engaged in a diligent fight against the ongoing pandemic of the deadly new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

RNA - Khan made the remarks in a Sunday tweet, urging the American president to lift Iran sanctions “till the COVID-19 pandemic is over.”

“I want to appeal to President Trump on humanitarian grounds to lift the sanctions against Iran till the COVID19 pandemic is over,” the Pakistani prime minister said.

Pakistan's prime minister added that at a time that “the people of Iran are facing untold suffering” the brutal sanctions that the United States has imposed on the country “are crippling Iran's efforts to fight COVID19.”
I want to appeal to President Trump on humanitarian grounds to lift the sanctions against Iran till the COVID19 pandemic is over. The people of Iran are facing untold suffering as sanctions are crippling Iran's efforts to fight COVID19. Humanity must unite to fight this pandemic
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 22, 2020

This is not the first time that Khan has urged the US to lift sanctions it has imposed on Iran on humanitarian grounds to ease the country's fight against new coronavirus outbreak.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, the Pakistani prime minister said that the United States should lift its "unjust" sanctions on Iran to help the neighboring country better deal with the health crisis.

"I would stress and insist to the international community to lift the sanctions on Iran," Khan said, adding, "It is very unjust they are dealing with such a large outbreak on one side, and on the other they are facing international sanctions."

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

In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Khan called for the lifting of sanctions against Iran, the worst-hit country by the pandemic in the Middle East, saying it was time to end the bans.

He said Iran was a “classic example” of a place where the humanitarian imperative to contain the outbreak outweighs political rivalries or economic dogmas.

Pakistan FM: Islamabad taking steps to get Iran sanctions lifted

Khan's tweet came after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said earlier on Sunday that his country is making diplomatic efforts to get Iran sanctions lifted, especially under current circumstances when the country is fighting a pitched battle to curb an outbreak of new coronavirus.

Qureshi made the remarks in a phone call on Sunday with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

According to a statement released by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, during the call, Qureshi informed Zarif of the diplomatic efforts undertaken by his country at international level to get Iran sanctions removed as well as the latest position taken by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on this issue.

Economic sanctions against Iran should be lifted and Islamabad has informed world powers of the necessity of this matter, the top Pakistani diplomat said.

The statement further quoted Qureshi as saying that he has been in contact with ambassadors of the P5+1 group of countries -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany -- which signed a landmark nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, calling on them to lift sanctions re-imposed on Tehran following Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the accord.

Trump unilaterally abandoned the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions, which had been lifted by the accord. Under Washington’s pressure, the three European signatories to the JCPOA have so far failed to fulfill their contractual obligation to protect Tehran’s business interests against the sanctions.

Qureshi further pointed to his phone call with Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Saturday and said his German counterpart has assured him that he would raise the issue of lifting Iran sanctions during a meeting of the European Union foreign ministers on Monday.

He added that he would discuss possible ways of removing Iran sanctions during phone talks with his counterparts from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in the near future.

Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said on Sunday that 1,028 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected individuals to 21,638.

“With 129 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,685,” he said, putting the number of patients who have recovered from the viral disease at 7,913.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that "brutal" sanctions unilaterally imposed on the Iranian nation by the US are depriving a great number of Iranians of health, jobs and sources of income, urging the American people not to allow the current administration’s hostile attitude toward Iran to tarnish history of their country.

Rouhani made the remarks in a message issued to the American people, which marked the first day of the Iranian New Year.

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