JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Iranian government says the economic sanctions imposed by the United States (US) must be lifted as it complicates efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in its region, even though the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus is an international problem at this time.
Through a statement from the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta on Monday (3/23/2020), the Iranian government claimed that the US sanctions had caused a decrease in state revenues from the oil industry sector, making it difficult to finance COVID-19 countermeasures.
"Another factor that has made it difficult for Iran is the move by the US to threaten various countries and companies in the world not to sell drugs and medical facilities to us," the Iranian government said in the statement.
It also said that the US recently imposed new sanctions on five companies and five individuals engaged in the nuclear industry.
"The US must stop politicizing humanitarian efforts and lift sanctions against Iran," it was further written in a statement, in which Iran referred to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres's call for the world to declare war on COVID-19.
Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in his letter to a number of heads of state in the world, had also stressed "the management of the COVID-19 crisis is not easy to do by any country on its own."
"Complying with US baseless sanctions against Iran is not only illegal and contrary to UN Security Council resolution number 2231, but also unethical and inhumane," Rouhani was quoted as saying in the same statement.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Monday morning that US President Donald Trump told a number of countries including Iran that the US was open to helping deal with COVID-19 in their region.