Envoy Asks for Removal of All Unilateral Coercive Measures against Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi underlined the need for removal of all unilateral coercive measures against his country amid the coronavirus epidemic to allow the nation's easy access to food and medicine.
“Under the current difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19, unilateral coercive measures seriously jeopardize the food security and nutrition of ordinary citizens in targeted countries and hamper access to basic medical services,” Takht Ravanchi said, addressing the 54th session of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council’s Commission on Population and Development on Wednesday.
“As the representative of a country whose people have been targeted by the most brutal and illegal unilateral coercive measures, I want to seize this chance and call for the immediate and complete removal of all these measures to ensure full access to the goals of economic and social development,” he added.
The abolition of these measures would enable countries targeted by vicious goals to effectively protect their people in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and revitalize their economies with the purpose of ensuring public welfare, he said.
The Iranian envoy said the coronavirus pandemic have had destructive consequences for food security, nutrition and healthcare systems.
“The lack of access to necessary nutritious food will have severe and life-long developmental consequences for women, children and the most vulnerable people,” Takht Ravanchi said.
He warned that the international community’s failure to take immediate action would cause hundreds of millions of people across the world to face severe poverty and hunger.
Medicine, medical supplies and health commodities have also been targeted, through tight restrictions of foreign exchange resources, violating the people’s right to health and life, he added.
“Despite all the restrictions and pressures caused by illegal sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken concrete steps to reform the existing policies, improve the overall sustainability of food systems and ensure food security as well as nutrition for vulnerable populations throughout the country,” Takht Ravanchi said.
He further noted that Iran hosts more than three million refugees and continues to live up to its humanitarian commitments and, among other services, has offered the opportunity of study to refugee children at Iranian schools.
Addressing a special session of the United Nations General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in December, Iran’s Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Education Saeed Namaki said the unilateral sanctions imposed on the country have targeted medicine and medical equipment needed by the nation, particularly at the time of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Namaki said it was very crucial for everyone to have timely, cost-effective and equitable access to diagnostic, medical equipment, medicines and vaccines with no discrimination, sanctions or unjustifiable prioritization.
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), former 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 most universities have been extended until further notice.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on September 12, 2020 blasted the US administration 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.