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Moscow to support Iran under US sanctions and spread of Covid-19

March 18, 2020 at 10:21 am

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends the annual press conference at the Russia Foreign Ministry Conference Hall in Moscow, Russia, on 15 January 2018 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow announced on Monday that it will provide assistance to Iran which is suffering under US sanctions and the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“In light of reports on the increasing spread of the epidemic [sic] caused by the coronavirus, we cannot help but notice the unjust and inadequate situation which the Islamic Republic of Iran has been experiencing,” explained the ministry. “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has recently said that… illegal unilateral US sanctions imposed since May 2018, as part of the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, are a major obstacle to the effective fight against the spread of infection. The many victims of coronavirus in Iran suffer not only from the disease itself but also the fact that the US deliberately prevents Iran from confronting it.”

The Russian statement stressed that America’s “inhuman policy” causes deep regret, alarm and serious concern. “We strongly urge the United States to face the truth and make an overdue decision on the immediate lifting of the sanctions striking against fundamental human rights in Iran… The world pandemic is not a time for settling geopolitical accounts.”

READ: Iran weighs freeing detained Americans amid coronavirus outbreak

Moscow reaffirmed its “principled commitment” to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran. “Russian efforts in this direction are supported by large-scale parallel projects and assistance to the hard-hit Iranian economy. Moreover, amid the spread of the coronavirus in Iran, we call on the United States to lift sanctions against Tehran.”

In the same context, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang announced on Monday that it is also calling for relevant countries to lift sanctions against Iran immediately, while the government in Tehran is struggling to deal with the pandemic. On Monday, the UAE sent aid to Iran to support it against the spread of Covid-19.

In a televised speech on Monday morning, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on citizens to stay at home and to cooperate with the authorities and medical personnel to contain the disease.