Thursday, 09 April, 2020

US has to ‘depoliticize’ virus-related efforts, lift sanctions: Iran’s UN envoy

The Iranian envoy to the United Nations has called on the US to lift sanctions on the country and to “depoliticize” its approach regarding efforts related to the coronavirus outbreak.

“High time for US to de-politicize this humanitarian endeavor and lift sanctions. International crises necessitate genuine international efforts,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi tweeted on Friday.

“People and government of Iran working hard to defeat Covid-19, but US sanctions are impeding their efforts,” he said.

Takht-Ravanchi’s remarks come as the US has imposed wide sweeping sanctions targeting varying sectors of Iran ever since it withdrew from the Iran 2015 landmark nuclear agreement in May 2018.

The bans deny Iran vital medical aid despite an October 2018 ruling by the International Court of Justice rejecting US sanctions on humanitarian supplies.

Iran’s Foreign Minsister Mohammad Javad Zarif has written a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General calling for the illegal US sanctions hampering Iran’s fight against the coronavirus to be lifted.

‘National Mobilization against the coronavirus’

Meanwhile, speaking about the results of the seventh meeting of Iran’s National Taskforce for Fighting Coronavirus on Saturday, Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country eyes major breakthroughs against the virus before the Persian New Year next week.

Namaki said that Iran will be able to do so by launching an initiative known as the “National Mobilization against the Coronavirus”.

He said that the virus-prevention program has been launched as a pilot project in four of the country’s provinces and seeks to identify infected individuals and have them quarantined outside the premises of hospitals.

“Today, about 31,000 centers across the country are taking part in the program and we currently have 1200 quick aid centers,” he said.

Namaki added that special restrictions related to anti-coronavirus efforts were decided during the National Taskforce meeting and that details will be announced later in the day.

Also on Saturday, Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said that the new coronavirus has claimed 97 lives in the past day, with 611 overall deaths being documented.

He added that 1365 individuals were diagnosed with the disease in the past 24 hours, with the overall number of confirmed cases reaching 12,729.

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