Press TV, London
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has emphasized that as the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic rages on across the globe all efforts should be focused on lifting sanctions, resolving differences and ending conflicts. He made the comments during a phone conversation with his Austrian counterpart.
President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is waiting for Europe’s new initiative to bring about the lifting of US sanctions. For his part President Alexander Van der Bellen stressed his country and the EU oppose the sanctions and will continue their cooperation with Tehran.
And they both stressed the need to strengthen INSTEX, a non-dollar direct payment channel which aims to facilitate trade with Iran without violating US sanctions. It was set up by the E3, Britain, France and Germany in January 2019, but has only recently been used to send medical supplies and emergency funds to Iran amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the country hard.
But the JCPOA has been sabotaged. US President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic. The European Union has urged the US to lift the sanctions but Washington has rejected those calls.
The United States will not be easing economic sanctions on Iran and is now escalating tensions with allies as it seeks to renew a UN arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire this year.
The Iranian President says he has warned the P4+1 that renewing the arms embargo will be a grave mistake and a historic defeat will be awaiting them if they allow it.
Tehran has the support of Russia, which has repeatedly indicated it will oppose an extension and China is not expected to go along with the U.S. proposal either. Both have veto power on the Security Council.