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Israel tried to prevent provision of aid to Iran during coronavirus

Iranians wearing protective masks cross a main road in Tehran on 13 April, 2020 during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]
Iranians wearing protective masks cross a main road in Tehran on 13 April, 2020 during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel has tried to thwart attempts to ease international sanctions imposed on Iran and prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid, Haaretz reported yesterday.

Quoting well-informed diplomatic sources the newspaper reported that Israel has sought to continue the policy of maximum pressure on Iran, even amid the coronavirus crisis, stressing that "even if there is humanitarian aid, it must be ensured that it is directed at countering the virus."

According to the newspaper, Israel claimed that the campaign Iran launched to ease restrictions and economic sanctions imposed on it to in efforts to battle the pandemic seeks to achieve two goals: the first is to free up Iranian funds held in external banks, and to obtain international aid in parallel with working to attack the legitimacy of the sanctions imposed on it. Its efforts have yet to succeed, the sources added.

The newspaper quoted an unidentified diplomat as saying: "Iran is using the coronavirus as a pretext to lift the sanctions."

Haaretz added that Israel has also not stopped its activities or diplomatic efforts to thwart the Iranian presence in Syria.

All this, the paper explained, is to prevent the lifting of the arms embargo approved by the UN Security Council, which is supposed to expire in October. If lifted, Iran will be able to purchase conventional weapons from both Russia and China.

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