Iran urges world community to stand up to US’ illegal sanctions amid battle against deadly virus

Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has called on the international community to stand up to the US’ coercive measures to force Washington to halt its illegal sanctions against countries amid the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the entire world.

Kazem Gharibabadi made the remarks in an address to the International Seminar on Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs) and their Impacts in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic, which was held virtually by the permanent representatives of Iran, Cuba and Venezuela in Vienna with the participation of more than 38 countries, IRNA reported.

He said that countries like the US have a tendency to impose “unilateral, coercive” measures against certain nations in line with their foreign policy goals, emphasizing that such actions directly impact the sovereignty of targeted countries and other nations likewise.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the countries that have been subjected to such inhumane acts,” he said.

Stressing that no country can battle the current challenges facing the world today, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Iranian envoy said, “The only means available to this end is cooperation and solidarity, not the escalation of inhumane coercive actions against other nations for malicious political purposes.”

He said that the unilateral measures by the US limits the ability of countries to maintain and strengthen the capacity to prevent and control the further spread of coronavirus and added that such acts have affected the health and lives of Iranians and other nations.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has made every effort … to prevent and control the further spread of this highly contagious virus. Nevertheless, the US’ unilateral and coercive actions that have led to tough international banking restrictions on Iran have severely limited our ability to finance the import of humanitarian items, including drugs and medical equipment,” he noted.

He said that the US claims that it has exempted humanitarian supplies from its sanctions, but in reality, these exemptions have not been able to persuade companies and banks to take the risk of exporting or financing the exempted humanitarian goods as they fear the threat of sanctions.

“We call on the entire international community to help build a global consensus against such inhumane acts,” he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Gharibabadi pointed to the recent killing of senior Iranian scientist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and said the assassination was carried out in contempt of the international law, including the UN Charter and fundamental human rights principles.

As a physicist and university professor, Fakhrizadeh had carried out various scientific activities in different fields, among them his prominent role in the production of the first indigenous diagnosis test kit, which was instrumental in Iran’s national efforts to control coronavirus, Gharibabadi said.

“We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist act and call on all relevant countries and international organizations to strongly and clearly denounce this terrorist act,” he added.

Iran has vowed a harsh revenge for the iconic scientist’s murder.

A top nuclear and military scientist, Fakhrizadeh was assassinated on Friday after an explosion and automatic gunfire near the Iranian capital Tehran.