[News] Iran FM: US ‘medical terrorism’ leading to ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Mar 30 13:16:22 EDT 2020

FM: US ‘medical terrorism’ leading to ‘humanitarian catastrophe’
March 30, 2020

*Iran's foreign minister says US "medical terrorism" against Iranians
through imposing toughest ever sanctions on the country is leading to a
"humanitarian catastrophe" as it makes it “impossible” for ordinary people
to have access to essential drugs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.*

"The illegal blockade of Iran’s financial resources by the sweeping US
sanctions makes access to drugs and medical equipment impossible,” Mohammad
Javad Zarif wrote, in an op-ed titled ‘Fight the virus, not us’ published
by Russian business newspaper Kommersant on Monday.

"This is leading to a humanitarian catastrophe,” he warned.

Iran's foreign minister emphasized that the United States' so-called
maximum pressure campaign against Iran undermines the country's efforts to
treat the coronavirus patients and stem the spread of the deadly virus.

"The American policy of maximum pressure hampers Iranian exports, while
Iran has fewer and fewer sources of investment,” he wrote.

The top Iranian diplomat went on to say that the US sanctions have forced
international banks to avoid dealing with Iran and prompted European
medical companies to refuse selling vital equipment to Tehran amid its
fight against the coronavirus.

He said, "Anti-Iranian sanctions also prohibit procurement of drugs and
medical equipment by the Iranian government. Restrictions in banking and
financial sectors, imposed against Iran, harm humanitarian imports. Due to
American threats, European medical equipment makers do not trade with Iran
and do not sell us medical goods."

"This is the time when the global community must play its real role to make
its loud voice be heard. The global community must come to its senses and
help Iran in order to stop the economic, medical and drug terrorism [by the
US]," the minister added.

Despite Tehran's “strong” healthcare system, Washington's severe sanctions
are decimating its finances, Zarif pointed out.

"Although Iran is a country that has rich fossil reserves, including oil
and gas, it does not have, thanks to the US-imposed sanctions, funding
sources necessary to provide aid to the people who suffered from the
coronavirus," Zarif wrote.

The United States has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and even tightened
them several times in recent weeks, making it almost impossible for the
Islamic Republic to access life-saving medications and medical equipment.

Iran says the unilateral US sanctions imposed on the country have seriously
hampered its fight against the pandemic.

The disease has so far killed 2,757 people and infected 41,495 others in
Iran. A total of 13,911 people have also recovered.

Iran is additionally aggrieved by the fact that international companies,
especially in Europe, continue to comply with the unilateral sanctions
despite US claims that medicine and food are exempted from its bans.

Iran has urged the international community to lift sanctions and is seeking
a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

In his op-ed for *Kommersant*, the Iranian foreign minister also noted that
the United States engages in various forms of "economic and medical
terrorism" against Tehran.

"From a legal point of view, such actions are not only terrorism against
Iran, but also are a crime against humanity and the global community,"
Zarif said.

He stressed the importance of preventing any move to hinder Iran's battle
against the coronavirus and disrupt international aid in this regard.

"In current sensitive moment, the only thing America can do is to not
obstruct Iranian fight with the coronavirus and not to disrupt
international aid delivery," he said.

In a post on his official Twitter account on Sunday, Zarif once again hit
out at the United States for its refusal to lift Iran sanctions amid the
coronavirus pandemic, saying Washington is upgrading its “economic
terrorism” to a new level of “medical terror” against Iranians.

"US has gone from sabotage & assassinations to waging an economic war &
#EconomicTerrorism on Iranians—to #MedicalTerror amidst #covid19iran,"
Zarif said.

He then urged the international community to stop supporting "war crimes"
committed by the US administration and obeying "immoral and illegal"
sanctions against the Iranian nation.

*

   - *Confusion over Iran waiver as Russia blames US for virus flare-up
   - *Iran academics, management experts write to Rouhani, urge emergency
   measures against COVID-19
   - *Zarif slams Pompeo for spreading ‘third-rate propaganda,’ hatred amid
   coronavirus pandemic

Zarif also wrote on his Instagram account earlier on Monday that the
coronavirus pandemic underscores the need to end "madness in politics and
irresponsible unilateralism" of the US government, which is sabotaging
Iran's fight against the disease through sanctions.

"This is the ugliest face of a government addicted to sanctions which wants
to revive its abortive maximum pressure campaign through weakening Iran in
the face of the corona," he added.
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