Monday, 06 July, 2020

Iran lodges complaint against US at ICC over sanctions amid rise in COVID-19 infections

Iran has filed a complaint at the International Court of Justice (ICC) against the United States regarding the impact of Washington’s sanctions that have seriously hampered the country’s efforts to curtail the coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the fact that the sanctions are inhuman and against human rights, a new complaint was lodged at the ICC about the consequences of the bans on the COVID-19 pandemic,” Iran’s Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laaya Joneidi said during a visit to Pasteur Institute of Iran in the capital Tehran on Saturday.

On July 2, Iran’s envoy to the United Nations called for an end to unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on various countries as the restrictive measures hinder their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks at a UN Security Council meeting to review the impact of the coronavirus, stressing that the lifting of the sanctions was necessary to counter the spread of the flu-like pathogen in the targeted countries as well as across the world.

Takht-Ravanchi said the unilateral sanctions by the US on countries like Iran, Syria and Yemen mostly impacted coronavirus patients as the measures impeded efforts by the affected countries to import medical equipment and medicines needed to fight the disease.

“These unilateral sanctions effectively target patients the most, and show how immoral, inhumane, and illegitimate these sanctions are,” the Iranian envoy to the UN said at the time.

Iran to introduce restrictions in 9 provinces: Official

Meanwhile, a high-ranking health official says Iran is going to impose restrictions in nine provinces amid the coronavirus pandemic, stating that wearing face masks will be mandatory in crowded and public places as of Sunday (July 5).

“People are obliged to wear face masks in all state organizations and crowded public places like subway stations, public transportation as well as shopping malls as of July 5. State organizations are required to ensure that the new regulation is implemented and offer their services only to clients who wear masks. The employees of the organizations can also go to work only if they wear masks,” Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi told IRIB TV2 television network late on Saturday.

Harirchi added that the country’s western provinces of East Azarbaijan, West Azarbaijan, Kordestan and Kermanshah besides the southern provinces of Khuzestan and Bushehr have just started tackling the first wave of COVID-19 infections, voicing concerns that some areas in the country, including the central province of Fars, are likely to record a spike in new coronavirus cases.

He further noted that nine provinces have been granted permits to shutter down restaurants, wedding halls, teahouses, beauty salons, cinemas, theaters, prayer grounds and mosques in the “red” regions, where the outbreak is pervasive.

“Such decisions are being made on a weekly basis. Similar restrictions may apply to Tehran. The city of Tehran has not entered the red zone yet, but it is on the brink,” the senior Iranian health official said.

No service to people not wearing face masks: Rouhani

Also on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said government offices across Iran will not offer any service to people refusing to wear face masks as of July 5 amid strict regulations to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“Wearing face masks in all public places will be obligatory as of tomorrow. People without masks will not receive services at any organization and institution. Government employees will also be barred from entering offices if they refuse to wear masks or observe health protocols,” Rouhani stated at National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus.

The president also emphasized that individuals who are aware of having contracted COVID-19 are bound to inform others on humanitarian and religious grounds.

Iran has so far recorded 237,878 cases of COVID-19 infections and contagion-related deaths have reached 11,408, according to

A total of 198,949 people have recovered from the respiratory disease, whilst 3,136 patients are in serious condition.

The pandemic’s worldwide death toll is above 533,500 and the number of those who have contracted the virus has exceeded 11.38 million.

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