US Sanctions against Iran amid COVID-19 Amount to ‘Medical Terrorism’: Zarif

US Sanctions against Iran amid COVID-19 Amount to ‘Medical Terrorism’: Zarif

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the US for impeding the Islamic Republic’s ability to fight the coronavirus, explaining that US sanctions have prevented the purchase of critical medical supplies.

Washington’s efforts to stop Tehran from exporting oil have limited the government’s ability to respond to the global health crisis and provide relief to the Iranian people, Zarif said in an interview with RT.

The top Iranian diplomat noted that Iran also has “quite a bit of money stashed in countries abroad,” but that the US has prevented Tehran from gaining access to these funds, even to buy medicine.

Zarif lamented that, due to US sanctions, Iran could not use its “own money” to ensure access to coronavirus vaccines under development. Iran cannot even purchase doses of influenza vaccine, the foreign minister said.

“Whatever the Americans are saying about their sanctions not affecting humanitarian items, it’s just a lie... It’s basically medical terrorism”.

When asked about Washington’s attempt to unilaterally impose “snapback” sanctions on Iran, Zarif acknowledged that the US government has “financial might,” but highlighted that UN Security Council members overwhelmingly opposed the move.

According to Zarif, countries around the world are increasingly abandoning the US dollar to protect themselves against Washington’s economic dictates.

He pointed out that even Washington’s European allies have stated that they will not abandon their commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which dropped UN sanctions in exchange for tighter controls on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The agreement was signed by China, France, Russia, Germany, Iran, the UK, the EU and the US, but Washington unilaterally exited the deal in 2018. 

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