Moscow)ANN)-Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has welcomed Russia’s initiative for the creation of a “green corridor” to replace economic sanctions amid the global battle against the new coronavirus pandemic.
Iran welcomes the Russian idea of “creating a green corridor instead of an economic war and sanctions,” Zarif wrote in a Russian post on Twitter on Wednesday.
Different countries, which shut their geographical borders in order to control the situation with coronavirus, open them to provide assistance, he added.
Zarif particularly took a swipe at the US president for defying international calls for removing the sanctions against Iran, warning about further spread of the deadly virus.
“Donald Trump continues to resist international demands to lift Iranian sanctions to counter coronavirus infection. Coronavirus can spread to neighboring countries,” he said.
The top Iranian diplomat’s comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the lifting of sanctions on various countries that are hindering the global fight against the new coronavirus.
“I am talking about the countries that are suffering the most from this pandemic. At the end of the day, it’s a question of life and death, this is a purely humanitarian issue,” the Russian leader said via teleconference to the leaders of the G20 group on March 26.
“Ideally we should introduce a … joint moratorium on restrictions on essential goods as well as on financial transactions for their purchase,” Putin noted, adding, “These matters should be freed of any politics.”
The unilateral US sanctions against Iran, which were reinstated after Washington in 2018 left a UN-endorsed nuclear deal with Tehran and five other world powers — the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany — have been hindering Iran’s fight against COVID-19.
The US’ so-called ‘maximum pressure’ through sanctions are compromising the performance of the Iranian healthcare system, despite Washington’s that the bans do not prevent Iran from trading in humanitarian and medical goods.
These US sanctions make the importation of medicine, medical equipment and raw materials needed to produce these goods difficult as foreign countries do not engage in trade with Iran dreading Washington’s punishment.
Iran is currently the worst-hit country by the coronavirus in the Middle East.
The respiratory disease has killed 4,003 people and infected 67,286 others, according to the latest figures released by the Iranian health ministry on Wednesday.
Russia Embassy calls for lifting of US bans on Iran amid COVID-19
Separately on Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in Washington in a post on Twitter called for the lifting of “inhuman restrictive measures” by the US against Iran.
The mission pointed to an earlier call by the Human Rights Watch on the US to lift its sanctions on Iran, adding, “In the US, more and more Americans realize that the path of restrictions lead to a dead end.”
A report published by the New York-based HRW on Monday asserted that international law obliges any country imposing sanctions on another to “consider the impact on the human rights of the affected population, especially regarding their access to goods essential to life, including medicines and food.”
The broad bans “are negatively affecting the Iranian government’s ability to adequately respond to the mounting health consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said the HRW.
Washington “should take immediate action to ease US sanctions and expand licensing of sanctions-exempt items to ensure Iran’s access to essential humanitarian resources during the pandemic,” the group added.