Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) has blasted the US for the imposition of unilateral sanctions against various countries, saying the coercive measures have undermined global development goals at a time that the world is struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Majid Takht Ravanchi made the remarks in a statement at the 45th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China in New York on Tuesday, a group which is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the world body.
Takht Ravanchi said the US-imposed economic sanctions are in defiance of multilateralism that is needed to fight the coronavirus, and the lack of decisive international action to counter those illegal measures has rendered the issue of sustainable development “meaningless.”
“COVID-19 — as a wake-up call for the whole world — reminds us once again that the development, welfare and prosperity of all human beings are interconnected and interdependent. However, as the entire world continues to work together to contain the Covid-19, we witness that the US continues to impose unilateral coercive measures, including illegal economic sanctions, on a number of countries including those that are greatly suffering from the grave consequences of the pandemic,” Iran’s UN envoy said.
“These illegal acts, on the one hand, and the lack of decisive action on the part of the international community to counter them, on the other, have turned the pivotal ideal of sustainable development, namely ‘no one should be left behind’, into a purely decorative and meaningless claim,” he added.
Takht Ravanchi underlined that the world needs to work together to contain the coronavirus, saying, “International crises and challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and unilateralism, cannot be defeated without a genuine collective response and joint efforts of all countries under the auspices of multilateralism, cooperation and solidarity and in conformity with the spirit of international collective coordination.”
Since the start of the viral outbreak in early 2020, calls have been growing inside the US and abroad for Washington to lift its unilateral sanctions against other countries, which are throwing a wrench into global efforts to rein in the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The UN, the European Union and human rights organizations as well as several American lawmakers and political figures have been pressing the US administration to ease the bans on Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and North Korea, among others on the sanctions list.
The administration of former US President Donald Trump reinstated unilateral sanctions against Iran in May 2018 after leaving a UN-endorsed multilateral nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and five other countries.
Washington keeps alleging that foodstuffs and medicinal products are exempt from the inhumane restrictive measure against Iran, a claim that Tehran says is totally untrue.