Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Washington is simply lying when it claims its unilateral sanctions have had no impact on the delivery of humanitarian items to the Iranian people.
“Whatever the Americans are saying about their sanctions not affecting humanitarian items is just [a] lie,” the Iranian foreign minister told Russia Today on Sunday.
Zarif said the United States has not only hindered Iran’s oil export, but also denied the Islamic Republic access to its “own money.”
“The United States first of all limited our financial resources by preventing us from selling oil and, secondly, it is preventing us from having access even to our own money.”
Iran, he said, has “quite a bit of money stashed in countries abroad,” but the US has prevented Tehran from spending its own money to buy medicine.
The Iranian foreign minister said the sanctions have prevented Iran from purchasing critical medical supplies and therefore impeded its fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“We have been trying to transfer money for the [purchase of] COVID-19 COVAX – the WHO vaccine – [and] we haven’t been able to do that,” Iran’s foreign minister said, adding, “Similarly, Tehran has not been able to transfer money to buy influenza vaccine.”
“So, it’s basically medical terrorism that the US is engaged in.”
Earlier this month, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran condemned the US sanctions amid the global pandemic, saying the White House knows nothing about humanity.
“We requested a $5-billion loan from the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) and all members agreed, but America does not allow us to get the loan for medicines and treatment,” he said.
“They have distanced from humanity as far as this. The White House today has no sense of humanity. If it had a sense of humanity, it wouldn’t have done this.”
Iran has been battling the deadliest pandemic the world has seen in many decades amid the sanctions.
The spokeswoman for Iran’s Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said on Sunday that a total of 446,448 individuals had contracted the coronavirus across the country.
She added that 195 fatalities had been registered in the past 24 hours, raising the total toll to 25,589.
Lari said as many as 374,170 individuals had recovered, and that over 3,932,570 people had been tested for the virus in the country so far.