Iran’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations condemned the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US as a serious threat to the nation’s right to health and having access to medicines.

Iran PressAmerica: Zahra Ershadi made the remarks on Tuesday at the 76th General Assembly session on global health and foreign policy.

She underscored that affordable health services, as well as life-saving medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic technologies, should be available to all countries without any discrimination or political considerations.

"Health issues should not be politicized in line with the interests of specific parties," she added. "The need for universal access to high quality and affordable health care is a key priority for international development."

Referring to the unprecedented health situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iranian diplomat said cooperation, solidarity and unity are more central than ever, urging the world countries to take the opportunity to promote multilateralism and combat unilateralism in order to focus efforts on addressing this humanitarian crisis for the benefit of all.

Ershadi also criticized the United States, along with some other countries that blindly follow Washington’s policies, for imposing restrictive measures, including illegal and oppressive economic sanctions, on a number of states, especially those that are affected by the severe consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

"The United States' inhumane unilateral coercive measures still pose a serious threat to the Iranian people’s right to health and access to essential medicines and medical equipment," she said.

"The Americans claim that unilateral sanctions do not include foodstuff and medical supplies, but in fact, due to sanctions and the exclusion of countries from the international banking system for financial transfers, it is not possible to have access to these items through existing trade and financial mechanisms," she added.

The envoy further hailed Iran’s significant progress in the field of biotechnology and stem cells, saying that despite unfair sanctions, the country has turned into one of the few producers of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ershadi pointed out that In spite of the Western sanctions the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted millions of Afghan refugees for more than four decades and even vaccinated many of them.

"However, international organizations have covered very little of the cost of the services that Iran has provided for the Afghans," the Iranian diplomat concluded.