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Tehran Urges Washington to Stop Hindering Oil Sales as Number of COVID-19 Cases in Iran Tops 60,000

© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiGeneral view of part of the Tehran's oil refinery south of the capital Tehran, Iran
General view of part of the Tehran's oil refinery south of the capital Tehran, Iran - Sputnik International
The statement comes as Iran is struggling with one of the worst coronavirus crises in Asia, with 62,589 total cases. The situation is exacerbated by the sanctions imposed by the United States, which Tehran views as significantly hindering its ability to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to lament the US sanctions against Iran amid the COVID-19 pandemic, calling on Washington to stop preventing Iran from selling its oil and other goods.

Zarif appealed directly to Trump in his tweet, saying that Iran does not require charity from someone who is forced "to buy ventilators from sources he's sanctioned", hinting at Russian aid from a company under US sanctions.

The post comes as the United States stepped up pressure against Tehran in March, moving to add five organisations as well as 15 people to its sanctions list, including those selling Iranian oil to Syria.

Iran strongly condemned the US pressure amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 62,589 and killed 3,872, according to Johns Hopkins University, as updated on 7 April at 7:04 pm. This makes Iran the second hardest hit nation in Asia after China.

Moreover, the White House has faced multiple calls from UN member states, such as Russia, China, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and even lawmakers from inside Congress to lift the sanctions regime against Iran, as well as other nations, during the coronavirus pandemic. However, these calls have not been heeded so far.

The US sanctions policy against Iran stems from the longstanding mutual tensions between the two nations, which took a turn for the worse in 2018 after the US withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstated economic pressure on the Islamic Republic.

Washington claimed that Tehran had breached the agreement, which curbs the Iranian nuclear programme

The move prompted Iran to begin scaling back some of its JCPOA obligations in May 2019.

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