Iran's Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali on the new coronavirus in the context of U.S. sanctions

As the Persian poet Saadi wrote, “The sons of Adam are the limbs of each other, having been created of one essence.” Regardless of whether the new coronavirus was made in American laboratories, as some sources say, or is a natural challenge for humanity, the current crisis has shown how close and interconnected the world is, and how different societies can really participate in each other's fate. At the same time, another important fact deserves attention: Some governments do not distinguish among politics, ideological hostility, humanitarian issues, health and people's lives.

For four decades now, the United States has been using the tool of sanctions against Iran in the cruelest way. The situation was especially aggravated when Donald Trump took office. He withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal and took up a policy of maximum pressure on Tehran in order to change our country’s political system and achieve its complete collapse. These measures are inhuman. They deeply violate the norms of international law and run counter to numerous resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. Washington tried to force the international community to join in imposing sanctions against Iran, but this appeal failed to receive any widespread support and provoked maximum opposition from the Iranians.

Such U.S. actions are understandable — we have repeatedly witnessed how Washington, through military aggression, organized coups and imposition of economic sanctions, has done everything to overthrow rulers it does not like and replace them with obedient vassals who are completely dependent on the White House.

Now, under the pretext of economic sanctions, the United States is severely restricting Iranian access to the means that are necessary to counter the new coronavirus. Washington’s aim is not to threaten a military attack this time, but to expect that a deadly disease occurring under the most severe sanctions will bring the Iranian people to their knees. This is the most inhumane method of punishing a country that does not intend to capitulate to U.S. unilateralism.

We are carrying out scientific research, and in general, the Iranian health care system is ready to control the spread of the new coronavirus, but the restrictions imposed by the Americans on the legal trade of medicines, and the supply of medical equipment and humanitarian goods greatly complicate the fight against the new coronavirus. Despite the fact that the virus is causing widespread damage to Iran, the United States continues to exert maximum pressure on us.

In this situation, it is necessary for the world community to stop acting as passive observers and ignore American restrictions. At the same time, Iran greatly appreciates Russia's efforts to assist our country, in particular with regard to the fight against the new coronavirus.

Washington's pressure paralyzes the Iranian economy in various areas, and to a certain extent, this is due to the fact that the world community is completely conniving with the United States, and showing unprincipled passiveness and conciliatory behavior with respect to America’s illegal actions. In this sense, Russia is not silent. As one of the leading countries in the world, it will be able to move forward proactively in removing the humanitarian restrictions imposed on Iran.

It is necessary to stop U.S. economic sanctions against the people of Iran. This request is extremely urgent and requires the active assistance of all countries, and the U.N. in particular.