Sunday, 12 April, 2020

Zarif, Guterres discuss US sanctions, Yemen crisis

Iran’s foreign minister and the UN secretary general have conferred on the US sanctions on the Islamic Republic amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a phone conversation on Saturday night, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and UN Chief Antonio Guterres discussed the unilateral and unlawful sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran and its impacts on Tehran’s fight against the novel coronavirus.

Various international leaders, figures and groups have denounced Washington’s sanctions for hampering Iran’s coronavirus fight.

The sanctions, imposed on the country after Washington withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in 2018, target much-need humanitarian aid and related finances from reaching the country.

The bans come despite an International Court of Justice’s ruling banning Washington’s aid-related sanctions in 2018.

Earlier on Saturday, the Vatican expressed sympathy with the Iranian people and talked to the US over its draconian sanctions on Tehran amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vatican’s secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin talked to US officials following a letter by head of Iran’s Islamic Seminaries Alireza Arafi to leader of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Francis.

Yemen crisis

In the Saturday phone call, the Iranian foreign minister and the UN secretary general also conferred on the plight of the Yemeni nation, whose country has been pounded by the Saudi-led coalition for the past five years.

The war-torn country on Friday reported its first case of infection with the novel coronavirus in a southern province under the control of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to the country’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

This has raised fears of an outbreak in an impoverished country where five years of a bloody campaign led by the regime in Riyadh have shattered the health system.

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