Global religious leaders urge US to lift sanctions against Iran

In a joint letter to US President Donald Trump, ACT Alliance, the World Council of Churches, and National Council of the Churches of Christ have urged the US to lift illegal and inhuman sanctions against Iran that are impeding the fight against COVID-19.

Iran PressAmerica: “The novel coronavirus is a common enemy of humanity everywhere,” reads the letter. “An effective response to the pandemic demands an unprecedented degree of global solidarity and cooperation, special care for the most vulnerable, and swift action to mitigate the conditions which create additional vulnerability.”

The religious leaders share a deep concern for the impact on the people of Iran of the inhuman sanctions imposed by the United States. “Iran, currently with around 66,000 confirmed cases due to COVID-19, is tackling to contain this virus, and as an affected country needs medical equipment to deal with coronavirus,” reads the letter. “But its public health response is severely impeded by the strict sanctions imposed on the country unilaterally by the United States since May 2019, resulting in an illegal cruel total economic blockade.”

The letter also calls for the lifting of sanctions facing other countries. “In this moment of global crisis, we make the same appeal in relation to sanctions impeding public health responses in other parts of the world – including Syria, Gaza, Venezuela and Cuba whose people, already victimized by conflict and geo-political confrontation, are being deprived of badly-needed medicines, medical supplies and equipment.”

Now is not the moment for pursuing grievances belonging to the politics of the world before COVID-19, urges the letter. “In our new reality, any notion of national security is contingent on an effective response to the virus globally,” the letter reads. “Now is the moment for international solidarity and cooperation in controlling the spread of the virus, protecting the most vulnerable, and defeating this common enemy.”

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently stressed the need to lift all US unilateral and illegal sanctions against Iran, Zarif added despite Iran's scientific capabilities, sanctions and US preconditions for preventing the sale of drugs and medical equipment have made difficulties over efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Iran. 


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