Iranian officials on Friday continued to urge the United States to remove anti-Iran sanctions as the country is struggling amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday asked the American people to press the U.S. government to lift anti-Iran sanctions, according to Iran’s presidential website. “Today, the Iranian people are harmed by both the deadly coronavirus and the callous U.S. government policy of economic terrorism inflicted on them,” Rouhani said in a message to the Americans.
Even under the circumstances of the pandemic, the U.S. government has not abandoned its “malicious policy” of maximum pressure and sanctions and is, thus in practice, aiding the spread of this virus, he said. “U.S. sanctions have targeted major sectors of Iran’s financial and economic system, which has inflicted hundreds of billions of dollars of loss to Iran’s economy and people,” said Rouhani. “U.S. government sanctions have led to many ordinary Iranians losing their health, jobs and income. Besides, the U.S. sanctions have drained Iranians’ power in the fight against the novel coronavirus,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Rouhani said that the U.S. sanctions and pressures have failed to force the Iranian nation to give in to its excessive demands. “The harshest-ever sanctions in the history have been imposed against our nation, economy and oil industry” by the United States, Rouhani said in his message to the Iranians on New Year occasion. On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that U.S. “inhuman” sanctions are “killing Iranians citizens” amid the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country. Also, Majid Takht Ravanchi, the envoy of Iran to the United Nations, asked international community to push the United States to lift all its “illegal” sanctions against the Islamic republic as the country is facing challenges of the novel coronavirus outbreak, state TV reported on Friday.

“The inhuman and illegal U.S. sanctions will jeopardize the health and lives of Iranians … through impeding our capabilities to prevent further spread of the coronavirus to other countries,” Ravanchi was quoted as saying. The Iranian envoy said that “the consequences of the illegitimate sanctions … leave no doubt that they amount to crimes against humanity.” On Friday, Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education said that a total of 19,644 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus, of whom 1,433 have died.


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