May 23, 2022

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Iran, Qatar call for removal of US sanctions amid virus fight

Iran and Qatar have reiterated the call for the United States to lift its oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic at a sensitive time when all world nations  need to join hands in the fight against a deadly coronavirus pandemic.

In a telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Tuesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani denounced Washington’s restrictive measures enforced against Tehran as a breach of international law and humanitarian principles.

“Through putting pressure and oppressive sanctions against Iran, the US is not only violating international regulations, but is also trampling on humanitarian principles by even intensifying such measures — among them blocking a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Iran,” Rouhani said.

Sanctions-hit Iran has requested a $5-billion emergency loan from the IMF to combat the coronavirus, which has so far infected over 84,800 people and killed almost 5,300 in the country.

The US — which dominates the IMF — has signaled its intention to block the loan. However, IMF officials have said the organization is proceeding with Iran’s request.

Rouhani further said, “We believe that at this particular juncture, all countries in the world must stand together to fight the coronavirus and adopt a clear stance against the US hostile actions.”

Washington reinstated its anti-Iran sanctions in May 2018 after leaving a UN-endorsed nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and five other countries. The illegal sanctions have damaged Iran’s oil sector and its wider economy while blocking the country’s access to global markets and lifesaving medical supplies.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani referred to the measures adopted by Iran to contain the virus spread and treat COVID-19 patients, expressing Tehran’s readiness to transfer its experiences to all states, especially Qatar as a friendly and brotherly country.

Bilateral trade and economic relations should continue with full observance of sanitary and health guidelines, he added.

Rouhani further criticized the prolongation of the Saudi-led war on Yemen, saying, “Unfortunately, they (the Saudis) are still reluctant to end their inhumane acts, but we have no doubt they will understand sooner or later that they have to change course.”

“We believe that there is no way to establish security and long-lasting stability in the region other than through cooperation and friendship among regional countries,” the Iranian president stressed.

Sheikh Tamim, for his part, criticized Washington’s brutal economic sanctions against the Iranian nation, and called for them to be lifted.

The Qatari leader said the world is today standing at a critical juncture amid the pandemic, and that all states are required to adjust their policies to the new conditions.

He also wished health for Iranians and all Muslims across the world and called for closer cooperation to rein in the respiratory disease.

The Qatari emir also underlined the need for boosting Tehran-Doha economic ties, expressing hope for ceasefires in Syria and Yemen as well as collective efforts to resolve regional problems.

Earlier, President Rouhani held phone conversations with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he renewed Iran’s calls for European countries to stand up to illegal US policies.

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