The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the US to lift its “anti-human” sanctions against Iran amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, saying that the measures act as “a powerful obstacle” to Tehran’s effective fight against the infection.
“Illegal unilateral US sanctions imposed since May 2018 as part of the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign are a powerful obstacle to effective fight against the infection,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday, Russian media reported.
“The reason for the many victims, caused by it, lies not only in the disease itself, but also in the fact that the US purposefully hinders the resistance (to the coronavirus),” the statement added.
“Millions of Iranian citizens were cut off from the possibility of purchasing necessary medical supplies, no matter how hard Washington tries to distort it. The anti-human policy of the US provokes deep regret, alarm and serious concern,” it went on to say.
The Russian Foreign Ministry urged Washington to lift the restrictive measures “hitting the human rights in Iran.”
“The global pandemic is not a time for settling geopolitical accounts, especially those that have no basis, invented in Washington for the purpose of satisfying their own ambitions,” it said.
Speaking at a daily press conference on Monday, Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoosh Jahanpoor said the death toll from COVID-19 in Iran has risen to 853 after 129 patients died over the past 24 hours.
The number of people tested positive for the coronavirus in the country has hit 14,991, he noted, saying 1,053 new cases have been detected since Sunday.
A total of 4,996 patients have been discharged from the hospital after recovering from the disease, he added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Europe the “epicenter” of the pandemic which originated in China.
To date, an estimated 162,687 people have been infected worldwide, with just under half of them in China (81,003 cases). An estimated 6,065 people have died, 3,085 of them in China.
Source: Mehr News Agency