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Iran UN Envoy Urges Lifting of Sanctions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Iran UN Envoy Urges Lifting of Sanctions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
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By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi underlined the need for lifting unilateral sanctions which are weakening the capacity of targeted countries to effectively respond to the spread of the coronavirus disease [COVID-19]. 

Takht Ravanchi made the remarks while addressing a UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters on Thursday night local time to review the implications of COVID-19 on the maintenance of international peace and security.

“Serious outbreaks of certain diseases with a high mortality rate, entail security implications in conflict situations. One example is the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic in the conflict situations in our region from Yemen to Palestine to Syria,” he said.

In these countries, the pandemic worsened the socioeconomic situations, negatively impacted de-escalation efforts and peace negotiations and, by adding a new layer to the already existing problems, has further complicated the overall situations.

Moreover, it shows that the application of unilateral sanctions under the current unprecedented global health crisis involving all nations is against the common interests of the whole of humanity.

Despite strong international calls for their immediate removal, made including by the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and some other international dignitaries as well as many former and current statesmen and stateswomen, parliamentarians, religious leaders, academia, non-governmental organizations and civil society institutions, the application of these illegal sanctions continues.

Furthermore, it must be born in mind that measures such as the inhumane siege of Yemen and Gaza Strip as well as the imposition of unlawful unilateral sanctions such as the one recently imposed on Syria, might contribute not only to the spread of deadly diseases but also to the deterioration of the conflicts.

While the impacts of serious outbreaks of certain diseases with a high mortality rate in conflict situations need to be addressed, the immoral and inhumane nature of unilateral sanctions and their impacts on extending the pandemics and worsening the conflicts must not be overlooked.