Coronavirus News Asia

No pandemic peace for the US and Iran

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently issued an urgent call for a universal truce to warring parties worldwide to support the global public health battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

It is not clear yet, however, that the US and Iran have answered that call to put aside their differences as both countries grapple with their own severe outbreaks of the lethal disease.

Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi says that owes more to Washington than Tehran as the US stands firm on its imposed sanctions and overlooks the severity of the pandemic by blocking medical equipment shipments to his country.

In an exclusive interview, Ravanchi tells Asia Times’ long-time contributor Kaveh Afrasiabi that Iran is ready to make amends with its regional rivals and that the US remains the main obstacle to Middle Eastern peace and stability.

Asia Times: What is Iran’s response to the call by UN Secretary General for a universal truce in light of the growing coronavirus pandemic?

Ravanchi: The Secretary General’s call for a comprehensive ceasefire should be taken seriously by the international community because it can play an important role in the fight against Covid-19, which is a pandemic affecting the whole world. 

In addition to the Secretary General’s appeal for a universal truce, he and a number of UN high officials, governments, parliamentarians including from the US and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have called for the lifting of sanctions so as to enable the countries affected by the coronavirus to better fight it.

Iran is one of the countries which have been hit hard by Covid-19. The continuation of illegal and inhuman US unilateral sanctions against Iran undermines our efforts to defeat this menace. 

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