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US sanctions jar with fundamental human rights: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani says the United States’ illegal sanctions against Iran are at odds with the fundamental principles of human rights.

Rouhani made the remarks in a phone call with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo on Monday.

“[Such] illegal instances of opposition can prove dangerous in circumstances when all of the countries of the world are engaged in fighting the coronavirus,” the Iranian president added.

The US returned the sanctions in May 2018 after unilaterally withdrawing from a nuclear agreement among Iran and other countries that has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

Iran sued the US at the International Court of Justice afterwards. The tribunal ruled that the US should lift its sanctions on humanitarian supplies.

Washington alleges that it has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from the bans. Tehran roundly rejects the claim.

Washington has also refused to lift its sanctions amid the viral pandemic which has complicated Iran's battle against the outbreak.

The virus that can lead to a fatal respiratory infection called COVID-19 has so far claimed 5,806 lives in Iran.

The death toll from the outbreak of new coronavirus in Iran rose by 96 in the past twenty four hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said in a statement on Monday.

The total number of diagnosed cases of new coronavirus in Iran has reached 91,472, he said, adding 70,933 patients have also recovered and been discharged from hospital so far.

Rouhani and Widodo stressed the need for further development of amicable and brotherly ties between Jakarta and Tehran in all areas in the best interests of their nations. 

The countries need to expand their cooperation concerning the ongoing battle against the outbreak, exchange experiences, share relevant scientific and technological achievements, and cater to each other’s possible needs, they added.

Rouhani said Iran has been successful in the scientific and technological fields that pertain to the fight against the coronavirus as well as the production of its requirements in the area, including diagnostic kits, ventilators, CT scan equipment, and protective N95 facemasks.

The Islamic Republic is, therefore, prepared to engage in cooperation and interaction with Indonesia in the area, he added.

For his part, the Indonesian president voiced delight in Tehran’s success in the face of the novel virus.

Today, the coronavirus has faced the world with a tough situation, he said, adding all countries, especially the Muslim ones, ought to provide one another with assistance.

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