US Sanctions Hindering Coronavirus Battle, Violating Int’l Law: Iran Envoy

US Sanctions Hindering Coronavirus Battle, Violating Int’l Law: Iran Envoy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to Denmark took a swipe at the US for obstructing the Islamic Republic’s fight against the coronavirus epidemic by intensifying the sanctions, which is a clear violation of the international law.

In an op-ed article in Danish newspaper Politiken, Afsaneh Nadipoor said the US sanctions have put many obstacles in the way of Iran trying to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

She also emphasized that restricting a country’s access to humanitarian supplies such as medicine and foodstuff runs counter to the international law.

“Despite its robust and advanced health and medical system, Iran has faced many problems in countering the disease (COVID-19) because of the US sanctions,” she added.

While the International Court of Justice in The Hague has specified that restricting access to humanitarian supplies is a violation of the international law, the US has not only ignored the ICJ’s ruling which orders Washington to lift bans on the free export of medicine, foodstuff and agricultural products to Iran, but also imposed more sanctions on Tehran, the ambassador deplored.

In a verdict in October 2018, the ICJ ruled that the US government should lift all bans on the free export of humanitarian goods like food and medicine to Iran which have been re-imposed after Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, denouncing the US’ sanctions as a major obstacle to the Islamic Republic’s fight against the coronavirus and urging that such unilateral and illegal sanctions should end.

Zarif emphasized in the letter that despite Iran’s scientific capabilities and the commitment that the country’s health system has shown to the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, the US’ sanctions on legal trade and the preconditions that the United States’ authorities have set recently in order to prevent the sale of medicine, medical equipment and humanitarian supplies have posed serious obstacles to the efforts to battle against the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran.

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