Tehran (IP) - In the early hours of Persian New Year, Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Japan held a phone conversation, discussing the fight against the outbreak of coronavirus and lifting US unilateral sanctions against the Iranian nation.

Iran PressIran News: Following international diplomatic consultations to counter US economic terrorism that threatens the health of the Iranian people, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi.

During the phone call, Zarif exchanged views on the most important international and regional developments, praising the Japanese government's assistance to the Iranian nation in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and outlined the wider scope of Iran's efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

Referring to the World Health Organization's report on the professional performance of the Iranian health system in the fight against coronavirus, Iran’s FM stressed that US sanctions are a major obstacle to supplying the medical equipment needed to contain the spread of the virus.

Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the Japanese government to step up efforts to lift US unilateral and illegal sanctions.

He was referring to the US sanctions impeding Iran to mobilize all its resources to fight coronavirus.

Ever since quitting the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, US President Donald Trump has been running what he refers to as a “maximum pressure” of sanctions against Tehran.

The American sanctions target both Iran and its international partners, including European countries that seek to engage in trade with the Islamic Republic.

So-called secondary sanctions target foreign companies that do business with Iran. Affected countries, including China, say those bans violate their sovereignty because their bilateral interactions with Iran are targeted by a third country, namely the US.

The Japanese Foreign Minister also considered the Japanese government's assistance as a sign of friendly relations between the two countries, adding that Japan will donate some medicine to help severe cases of COVID-19.

Given the high standard of the Iranian health system, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries agreed to share the scientific report on the use of these drugs to advance medical knowledge with Japanese specialists.

The new respiratory virus, known officially as COVID-19, has spread to every continent except Antarctica as well as every single European country.

There are at least 246,799 diagnosed cases globally and at least 10,063 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Over 86,000 people with diagnosed cases have recovered.

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