Iranians Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday, said that the US was responsible for the “destructive ramifications” of its unilateral sanctions against Iran as the country was fighting against the coronavirus pandemic.
Zarif took to Twitter and posted a video, saying, “At a time when we, Iranians, normally celebrate Nowruz, our New Year concurrent with the arrival of spring, we are faced with multiple and historic challenges”, according to the media report.
“My country is among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus,” he further added.
Addressing a cabinet session on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani said that his government has managed to meet the needs of the people, especially for food and sanitary items, in the wake of the outbreak,
As of Wednesday, Iran announced that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 17,361, of whom 1,135 have died and 5,710 have recovered.
“Even amid this pandemic, the US government has vengefully refused to lift its unlawful and collective punishment, making it virtually impossible for us to even buy medicine and medical equipment,” he said.
He also criticized some other countries for what he called their compliance with the US pressures against Iran.
On Monday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent two aid planes carrying medical supplies to Iran which has been severely hit by the coronavirus crisis, despite a fallout between the two countries.
The move came a day after a call between the UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Jawad Zarif.
Iran has been the worst-hit country in the Middle East by the outbreak of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus.
In January this year, the US government had announced that it imposed sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and it’s head while renewing waivers allowing foreign companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear sites.
Earlier, Iranian President Rouhani had said that his country is still ready for nuclear talks on condition of the US first lifts “unlawful” sanctions.
Last year, in November the US accused Iran of “nuclear extortion” and vowed no let-up in pressure after the clerical regime and said it would resume uranium enrichment at the key Fordow plant.
Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began reimposing crippling sanctions.