RNA - “The difficult situation in Iran against the coronavirus is largely artificial because the United States and its unilateral sanctions on Iran have caused it and should be lifted as soon as possible,” said Zakharova, adding, “Iran is currently experiencing unprecedented economic and political pressure from the US, and these sanctions are not in the moral and legal framework.”
Calling for lifting of anti-Iran sanctions, she said, “Russia has long called for the lifting of sanctions on Iran, and in particular has called on Washington to lift the inhumane sanctions as soon as possible, which have created obstacles to governments' efforts to effectively fight against coronavirus.”
Russia has on different occasions opposed US’ illegal sanctions which have disturbed global confrontation against coronavirus and called for removing all sanctions.
The United States has imposed new sanctions against 20 companies, officials and individuals in Iran and Iraq, despite growing global pressure on the American government to end sanctions on Iran as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement on Thursday the sanctions freeze any US-held assets of those designated and generally bar Americans from doing business with them.
The coronavirus COVID-19 has affected nearly all 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 nearly 31,000 people and infected over 665,000 others globally.
Iran reported on Saturday that a total number of 2,517 coronavirus patients have died and 35,408 cases of infection have been identified in the country so far. Meanwhile, 11,679 people have also 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 until early April.
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.
According to Fars News Agency, he added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.
According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 90 across the country.
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.