Iran: US Sanctions Defy Multilateralism Needed to Fight COVID-19
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said that the US economic sanctions against his country and other states prevent the needed multilateralism needed to fight against the spread of coronavirus.
Takht Ravanchi made the remarks in New York on Tuesday, addressing the 45th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China.
He said the US-imposed economic sanctions are in defiance of multilateralism that is needed to fight the coronavirus, and the lack of decisive international action to counter those illegal measures has rendered the issue of sustainable development “meaningless”.
“COVID-19 — as a wake-up call for the whole world — reminds us once again that the development, welfare and prosperity of all human beings are interconnected and interdependent. However, as the entire world continues to work together to contain the Covid-19, we witness that the US continues to impose unilateral coercive measures, including illegal economic sanctions, on a number of countries including those that are greatly suffering from the grave consequences of the pandemic,” Iran’s UN envoy said.
“These illegal acts, on the one hand, and the lack of decisive action on the part of the international community to counter them, on the other, have turned the pivotal ideal of sustainable development, namely ‘no one should be left behind’, into a purely decorative and meaningless claim,” he added.
Takht Ravanchi underlined that the world needs to work together to contain the coronavirus, saying, “International crises and challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and unilateralism, cannot be defeated without a genuine collective response and joint efforts of all countries under the auspices of multilateralism, cooperation and solidarity and in conformity with the spirit of international collective coordination.”
Since the start of the viral outbreak in early 2020, calls have been growing inside the US and abroad for Washington to lift its unilateral sanctions against other countries, which are throwing a wrench into global efforts to rein in the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The UN, the European Union and human rights organizations as well as several American lawmakers and political figures have been pressing the US administration to ease the bans on Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and North Korea, among others on the sanctions list.
In relevant remarks in August, Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber rapped Washington and its allies for imposing banking sanctions that prevent Iran’s efforts to buy drugs and medical equipment amid a surge in the number of coronavirus infected and deaths in the country.
“Although the arrogant system (led by the US) claims that access to medicine is free for all people and there is no restriction for any country when we want to purchase the needed medicine, they do not allow transfer of money and prevent the drugs’ imports,” Mokhber said, addressing a meeting in Tehran.
He also noted that coronavirus has affected many businesses and the shortage of medicine and treatment-related issues have also placed a heavy burden on the country's budget, saying that these problems need serious planning and efforts to address the problems of businesses that are affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.