Iran Urges Finland to Condemn US Sanctions
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Finland to condemn the US’ illegal sanctions that have threatened the health of Iranian people amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto on Tuesday, Rouhani said the US has held the health of 83 million Iranians hostage by imposing cruel sanctions and preventing the delivery of medicine amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“The European Union, Finland in particular, must fulfill its duty by condemning the US’ illegal measures,” he added.
“Sadly, the US government has sanctioned the World Health Organization under such difficult conditions and violated international regulations, and has also intensified the pressure of sanctions against Iran,” Rouhani said, adding, “It is necessary for the European Union to fulfill its human rights duties in such a delicate juncture.”
He also said that the financial mechanisms established by the EU3 and Switzerland for trade with Iran have not proved effectual, calling on the European Union to push for the activation of those channels.
Highlighting the ample opportunities for the development of ties between Tehran and Helsinki in economic and trade fields, investment in the oil and energy industries, and agriculture and technology, the Iranian president called for joint action in the battle with COVID-19 by sharing the experiences and scientific information.
The Finnish president, for his part, hailed Iran’s advances in containing the coronavirus epidemic, and stressed the need for the promotion of ties with Tehran.
Niinisto also voiced Finland’s readiness to join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), and expressed support for Iran’s request for an emergency International Monetary Fund loan to fight the pandemic.
He also expressed the Scandinavian country’s full support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying Finland will do its utmost to save the international nuclear agreement.
In November 2019, the Finnish foreign ministry said Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden would join INSTEX.
“In light of the continuous European support for the agreement and the ongoing efforts to implement the economic part of it and to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran,” the ministry said in a joint statement.
INSTEX is a payment channel that France, Germany and Britain have devised to continue trade with Tehran and bypass the US embargoes.