Envoy: Imposers of sanctions are accountable for innocent people’s death

Iranian Ambassador to France Bahram Qasemi in a message on Saturday said that those who call for boosting sanctions and maximum pressure in the crisis-stricken world should be responsible for death of thousands of innocent people.
Those who are speaking of sanctions and maximum pressures amid the coronavirus-crisis-stricken world and when thousands of people are being killed and in the atmosphere of fear and anxiety should be accountable for the death of thousands of innocent people.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “#Covid19 ravages the world, sparing no nation. Even the world’s largest economy needs others to help it fight the pandemic, yet refuses to halt its #EconomicTerrorism against Iran. Does the US want a “forever pandemic”? Moral imperative to stop observing the bully’s sanctions.”
In spite of the fact that Iran is now involved in fighting coronavirus and the international community has so far urged the United States to lift sanctions against Iran, the US had earlier blacklisted 20 individuals and entities for the alleged supporting the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force to breach Iraq’s sovereignty and to exploit its economy.
Iran, Russia send joint letter to UN chief to push lift of unilateral sanctions
A group of countries including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua and Syria, sent a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday urging him to push for waiving the US unilateral sanctions on certain countries, according to a statement issued by Russian Foreign Ministry.
The letter calls for an immediate lift of unilateral sanctions which hinder efforts of countries in effective fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Considering the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, removing any obstacle on the way of meeting emergency medical supplies is of special significance, the statement said.
The UN Security Council has excluded humanitarian items from its sanctions mechanisms, it added, noting that such mechanisms were expected to work and not be ignored for political concerns of certain countries.
It is the only way to avoid harmful consequences of sanctions for ordinary people, the statement said.
“And I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion,” said the UN secretary-general in a letter to G20 on March 25.
US has taken several Iranian scientists hostage: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the US of taking Iranian scientists hostage and refusing to grant them medical furlough in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
“US has taken several Iranian scientists hostage—without charge or on spurious sanctions charges—& not releasing them; even when its OWN courts reject the absurd charges,” wrote Zarif in a tweet on Friday referring to the remarks of an Iranian scientist detained in the US.
“US even refuses medical furlough—amid #covid19—for innocent men jailed in horrific facilities,” he added.
Iranian diplomat stressed, “Release our men.”
An Iranian scientist Dr. Sirous Asgari who was exonerated in a US sanctions trial but remains jailed by immigration authorities said the conditions in detention were filthy and overcrowded and officials were doing little to prevent a deadly coronavirus outbreak.
He was acquitted in November on federal charges of stealing trade secrets related to his academic work with a university in Ohio. Although the US government lost its case on all charges, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has kept him indefinitely detained since the trial.
He told the Guardian that his Ice holding facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, had no basic cleaning practices in place and continued to bring in new detainees from across the country with no strategy to minimize the threat of Covid-19.
According to Guardian, the situation is particularly worrying for Asgari, who is at risk of getting pneumonia if infection like Covid-19 reaches his lungs. Given the conditions at ASF and treatment of detainees, if he were to get coronavirus there, “I don’t think I would survive,” he said.
Iran urges U.S. to free Iranian prisoners amid coronavirus
The Tehran government urged the United States on Friday to release Iranians held in U.S. jails on sanctions-related issues due to fears about the coronavirus epidemic.Pal
The death toll in Iran, one of the countries worst hit by the disease, meanwhile rose to 2,378 on Friday, a jump of 144, while its number of cases rose to 32,332, according to Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of holding a number of Iranians in its prisons and said that under the circumstances they should be set free.
“US even refuses medical furlough — amid #covid19 — for innocent men jailed in horrific facilities. Release our men,” he said on Twitter.
The United States became the country with the most infections globally when its cases topped 85,000 on Thursday.
Zarif also referred to a report by the Guardian newspaper about Dr Sirous Asgari, a materials science professor, who it said was still being held in a crowded facility after being acquitted in November on U.S. federal charges of stealing trade secrets.
“US has taken several Iranian scientists hostage — without charge or on spurious sanctions charges — & not releasing them; even when its OWN courts reject the absurd charges,” Zarif said.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that U.S. citizen Michael White, who has been detained in Iran since 2018, had been released on medical furlough, adding that the U.S. navy veteran was under the custody of the Swiss government.
Days before speaking about White, Pompeo said Tehran was considering freeing some U.S. citizens and urged it to do so as a humanitarian gesture because of coronavirus.
On Thursday, the United States blacklisted five Iran- and Iraq-based companies and 15 individuals accused of supporting terrorist groups, its third round of sanctions on Iranian targets in the last two weeks.
Humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear programme. However, broader U.S. sanctions deter many firms from humanitarian trade with Iran.

2020-03-29 | News | English |