AGENCIES, Tehran/New Delhi: As one of the hardest hit coronavirus hotspots in the Middle East, it’s a tough time for Iran. Till now, 4,585 fatalities and more than 73,000 confirmed cases have been reported. Iran foreign minister Javad Zarif on Monday raised the issue of “illegal and unilateral US sanctions” on his country during a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.
Iran’s top leadership has reached out to India and other countries to help defeat the US sanctions that are hampering the country’s fight against Covid-19.
Jaishankar tweeted that he and Zarif discussed “respective responses to the #Coronavirus challenge” and “exchanged views on regional developments”. He did not give details or say whether the US sanctions on Iran had figured in the discussions.
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly blamed the United States, which in 2018 reinstated punishing sanctions, for thwarting Iran’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. The country’s leaders have at the same time, however, rejected offers of humanitarian assistance from Washington. Medical supplies are exempt from US sanctions.
Iran’s economy has been hard hit by the economic sanctions, which the Donald Trump administration imposed after withdrawing from the landmark nuclear deal reached in 2015 between Iran and six world powers.
In recent times, a few European countries have been able to send medical assistance to Iran. Zarif and Jaishankar also discussed the latest political developments in Afghanistan, especially the peace process in that country