Iranian FM: Stop obeying US sanctions

Mohammad Javad Zarif says US sanctions on Iran amount to "medical terror", urges world to stop complying with them.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday denounced the US for continuing the sanctions on his country amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“US has gone from sabotage & assassinations to waging an economic war & economic terrorism on Iranians—to medical terror amidst COVID-19. This even ‘exceeds what would be permissible on the battlefield,’" Zarif tweeted.

“STOP aiding WAR CRIMES. STOP obeying IMMORAL & ILLEGAL US sanctions,” he added.

Since leaving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the US has continuously reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Iranian leaders have said that the US sanctions “severely hamper” the Islamic Republic’s ability to fight coronavirus.

Despite the sanctions which block Iran from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets, Washington has offered Iran help in fighting the coronavirus.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week made clear that Iran had no intention of accepting the United States’ offer of humanitarian assistance and added that United States should lift sanctions if it wants to help Iran to contain the virus.

Rouhani’s comments came a day after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei refused US assistance to fight COVID-19, claiming the virus could be man-made by America.

Iran is the hardest country in the Middle East by the coronavirus. Iran's Health Ministry on Sunday reported that the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country has risen to 38,309, and that 2,640 deaths had been recorded.

At least 17 regime figures in Iran have died from coronavirus and 12 others have been infected since the beginning of the outbreak in the Islamic Republic.

On Saturday it was reported that former Iranian deputy speaker of parliament, Mohammad Reza Khatami, contracted the virus and is in hospital.

High-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.