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Araqchi: US shedding ‘crocodile tears’ on prisoner’s death while immiserating 82mn Iranians

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi leaves the 'Grand Hotel Wien' after the closed-door talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, in Vienna, Austria, on June 2, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi says the US is shedding “crocodile tears” over the death of a prisoner in Iran while maintaining its murderous sanctions on the 82-million nation.

Araqchi made the remarks in a tweet on Saturday, one day after US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley claimed he was “saddened” by the death of prisoner Sasan Niknafs.

“Trump is gone, but his unlawful & murderous sanctions are still there. No need for crocodile tears when US efforts to immiserate 82 million Iranians are ongoing,” Araqchi wrote, referring to former US president Donald Trump who abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reimposed the sanctions that the landmark deal had lifted against the Islamic Republic.

Trump also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign.

The unilateral restrictive measures have hampered Iran’s fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic. 

“Economic terrorism amid a PANDEMIC, is a crime against humanity,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister added.

In a statement, the Tehran Province General Directorate of Prisons said Niknafs had been sentenced to five years imprisonment by Tehran Public Prosecutor's Office.

Upon his arrival at the jail, the inmate had in personality questionnaires said that he had once committed suicide by taking pills, the statement read.

During his time in prison, Niknafs received medicines prescribed by the prison’s clinic and injected insulin pens provided by his family, it added, noting that he was also visited about 35 times by psychiatrists, dentists, internists, psychologists and general practitioners.

On June 5, he was taken to the prison’s clinic after he had blood coming from his mouth and nose, but his condition improved after getting medical attention, according to the statement.

The inmate told his doctor that he had used several pills taken from one of the prisoners.

He later went into convulsion and was taken to Tehran’s Firouzabadi Hospital, where he died.

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