2021-April-21 18:26
2021-February-18  14:22

Iranian Envoy: Int'l Cooperation, Lifting Inhumane Sanctions Needed to Contain Coronavirus

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi underlined the necessity for cooperation among all the world states and removal of inhumane sanctions to effectively fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Takht Ravanchi made the remarks on Wednesday, addressing the Security Council Open Meeting on Ensuring Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines in Contexts Affected by Conflict and Insecurity.

In order to prevent more severe consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, including loss of the progress already made in fighting against poverty and the intensification of inequality within and between countries, there is no other option but to achieve success in containing the virus, he said.

For that to happen, it is necessary to increase international cooperation, distribute vaccines fairly across the world and lift inhumane sanctions and blockades, the envoy added.

He described the coronavirus as a “common enemy of humanity” that is targeting people regardless of their race, religion and nationality and said practical cooperation and cohesion among all nations is a necessity to fight the outbreak.

Takht Ravanchi said millions of people in developed countries have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 but many developing states have failed to receive even a handful of vaccine doses.

No one in any part of the world will have immunity against the virus unless all people are immune, he added.

The Iranian envoy said in parallel with vaccinations, it is also necessary to adopt other measures in developing countries, particularly the removal of unilateral sanctions and inhuman blockades of Yemen and Gaza.

Due to the freeze on its financial resources abroad as a result of illegal US sanctions, the Iranian government has not been able to properly help companies and the private sector make up for the damages they suffered in the face of the coronavirus spread, the diplomat added.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said that Iran expects the World Health Organization (WHO) to dissuade the Americans from continued sanctions which have hindered Iran’s efforts in campaign against coronavirus.

“The US sanctions is a policy which weakens fight against coronavirus and the WHO should endeavor to make Americans give up this inhumane measure,” Jahangiri said at a meeting with WHO Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean Ahmad al-Manzari in Tehran.

He also said that Iran expects the WHO to understand the sanctions restrictions imposed on Iran's supply of the coronavirus vaccine and help the country.

"At present, Iran has tens of billions of dollars in Asian countries that have been blocked in their banks, and we have been lingered for a long time to find a way to transfer the money and send $50mln in advance to buy vaccine via COVAX,” Jahangiri said.

The Iranian foreign ministry has 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), former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on September 12, 2020, blasted the US for blocking the country’s efforts to receive loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight against coronavirus, saying that the American officials have forgotten humanity.

“We demanded the IMF for $5bln to assist us during the coronavirus outbreak for vaccine and medicine; all parties have voiced their agreement, but the US does not allow us to take the loan. They have distanced themselves from humanity to such an extent,” Rouhani said.

He added that even the friendly states whose banks are holding Iran’s money have been pressured by the US not to provide the country with access to its assets.

“History has not witnessed such a crime, as you may not find any other country that cannot withdraw money from foreign banks to purchase and import medicine for its people,” Rouhani said.

He, meantime, said that the Americans are angry with the Iranian government's appropriate management of the coronavirus outbreak despite the harshest-ever sanctions imposed on the country.