December 11, 2023

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Zarif tweets in Chinese: US sanctions big obstacle to Iran’s anti-coronavirus efforts

The Iranian foreign minister has once again slammed Washington’s cruel sanctions on Tehran, describing them as a big obstacle to his country’s effort to fight coronavirus in a tweet in Chinese.

Mohammad Javad Zarif published the Twitter post on Thursday, in reference to his phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Wednesday, IRNA reported.  

“I am very pleased that once again, I spoke with my old friend Wang Yi, the Chinese state councilor and foreign minister. We talked about issues of common interest including the fight against coronavirus, deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and peace and stability in Afghanistan. I appreciated China for sending anti-coronavirus aid and a medical team to Iran. We condemned US illegal sanctions which are a big obstacle to Iran’s efforts in its fight against coronavirus,” Zarif’s post reads.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint ‎Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between and the P5+1 in ‎July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s sanctions on Tehran. Mainly ‎targeting Iranian oil and banking sectors, the sanctions have even ‎hampered delivery of humanitarian aid to the country and the Islamic ‎Republic’s purchase of drugs and medical equipment amid its fight against ‎the virus. ‎

Zarif’s phone conversation with China’s foreign minister was in continuation of the Islamic Republic’s consultations with other country’s senior official on political developments in Afghanistan and restoration of peace and stability in the country.

On Wednesday, Zarif hit out at the US for deciding to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying the world may now better realize Tehran’s long experience of bearing the brunt of Washington’s bullying that kills people, Press TV wrote.

“The world is learning what Iran has known & experienced all along: US regime’s bullying, threatening & vainglorious blathering isn’t just an addiction: it kills people,” Zarif said in a post on Twitter.

“Like “maximum pressure” against Iran, the shameful defunding WHO amid a pandemic will live in infamy,” he added.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was halting funding to the WHO while a review is conducted.

Trump said the review would cover the UN agency’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

The announcement comes as the world is experiencing the worst global pandemic in decades, and as the US president is criticized for downplaying the deadly virus while putting the blame elsewhere.

Trump, whose administration has defied international calls to ease the crippling US sanctions against Iran claimed on Tuesday that if the WHO had acted appropriately, he could have sooner instituted a travel ban on people from China, where the new coronavirus was first reported late last year.

The US stands first in the number of the total confirmed cases of infection and death worldwide.

According to the latest figures by the, 644,348 cases of infection in the US have been reported so far, with 28,554 death cases, also the highest across the world.

In Iran, which is battling the virus under the toughest ever sanctions by the US, a total of 77,995 cases have been confirmed as of Thursday, with 4,869 deaths.

Ironically enough, the US administration, which is finding it quite hard to stop the spread of the virus inside the country, has offered to render aid to the Islamic Republic.

Iran says it does not need any help from the US and only seeks the lifting of the cruel sanctions.

‘Crime against humanity’

Separately on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the US decision to halt funding to the WHO showed Washington’s irresponsibility and constituted a crime against humanity as it was made at a time that the world was fighting COVID-19.

Noting that the health, wellbeing and safety of people around the world are directly affected by the corona epidemic, he added, “At the worst possible time and in the midst of the war against a global catastrophe, the United States is suddenly punishing the only global coordinator of health, which is sheer irresponsibility and a crime against humanity.”

“Trump’s main goal in suspending the World Health Organization’s budget is to play blame game and cover up the inefficiency of the US government in containing and controlling the coronavirus,” he added.

Mousavi said that the US decision against the UN health agency constituted “a violation of their obligations to the international community.”

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