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Iran's friends should have defied US sanctions during pandemic, says Rouhani Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Iran's friends should have defied US sanctions during pandemic, says Rouhani

Iran has recorded over 387,000 coronavirus cases [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 September, 2020

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Rouhani said the US should have lifted its sanctions for a year during the coronavirus pandemic.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rebuked friends of Iran for not defying US sanctions to help it through its health crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

"Not a single friendly country told us that in this time of coronavirus and hardship and for the sake of humanity 'we will stand up to America' and do business with Iran," Rouhani was quoted by Reuters as saying in remarks broadcast live on Iranian state.

Iran has recorded over 387,000 coronavirus cases and more than 22,000 deaths from infection, becoming one of the worst-hit countries in the region.

"Over the past months since the coronavirus arrived in our country... no one came to our help," the Iranian leader said.

Rouhani lambasted the United States for maintaining its sanctions against Iran and said the administration lacked "humanity and brain".

"[The US] is far more heartless and evil than those things," Rouhani said. Instead, it "imposed new sanctions and pressures on us over these past seven months of coronavirus," he added, according to Reuters.

Read also: Sanctions, Covid-19 and economic collapse: What is the future of international aid to Syria?

US sanctions on Iran, imposed by Donald Trump's administration in 2018 after he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, exempt food and humanitarian assistance.

But international overcompliance with sanctions have deterred foreign banks from doing any kind of business with Iran, including financing humanitarian deals.

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