The Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the worst affected nations due to COVID-19 outbreak, on Saturday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, over how the efforts to fight coronavirus has been “severely” impacted by the US sanctions.
President Hassan Rouhani, in his letter, emphasised that the fight against the coronavirus requires bolstering joint and coordinated regional and international measures, adopting serious strategies, and sustaining huge medical and care costs.
The pleading for help from the Islamic Republic of Iran comes at a time when Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had stoked a controversy by threatening India of isolation in the Muslim world. He had asked the Indian government to confront what he called “extremist Hindus and their parties”, saying the hearts of Muslims all over the world are “grieving” over the recent communal violence in Delhi.
Despite the anti-India and anti-Hindu stand, Iran has now approached India to fight the global epidemic in the country. Iran has emerged as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in West Asia, with more than 12,700 confirmed infections – including several senior government officials testing positive. According to the Iranian health officials, more than 610 have died due to the outbreak.
Following the health emergency, Iran President has written a letter seeking India’s help in tackling the global pandemic. “This virus knows no boundary and claims, victims, without political, religious, ethnic, and racial considerations,” he wrote to the world leaders including PM Modi.
Calling the act of continued sanctions when the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic, as “immoral”, Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif in a tweet wrote, “In a letter to counterparts Hassan Rouhani informs how efforts to fight COVID-19 pandemic in Iran have been severely hampered by US sanctions, urging them to cease observing them: It is IMMORAL to let a bully kill innocents. Viruses recognize no politics or geography. Nor should we.”
In another tweet, Zarif had highlighted the severe shortage of medicine and equipment that Iran is now facing.
URGENT— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 12, 2020
Iranian care personnel are courageously battling #COVID19 on frontlines
Their efforts are stymied by vast shortages caused by restrictions on our people's access to medicine/equipment
Most urgent needs are outlined below
Viruses don't discriminate. Nor should humankind pic.twitter.com/GpXCbsh001
Reportedly, the Iranian President, in his letter to the world leaders has said that while the Islamic Republic has faced serious obstacles and restrictions emanating from two years of extensive and illegal sanctions, the US administration did not stop exerting ‘illegal’ pressure on Iran even after the coronavirus outbreak started.
Iran’s envoy to the UN also called on the US to lift sanctions on the country and to ‘depoliticise’ its approach toward efforts related to containing the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, 234 Indians stranded in Iran were successfully brought back to India on Sunday. This is the third batch of Indians to be evacuated from Iran.