Iranian Admiral Ali Shamkhani says US sanctions imposed on crucial medical equipment are ‘illegal’ and an ‘inhumane act’.
An Iranian official has called US President Donald Trump “more dangerous than coronavirus” saying moves to block vital medical supplies to fight coronavirus from reaching Iran was tantamount to crimes against humanity.
Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran‘s Supreme National Security Council, accused the American government of opposing efforts by the International Monetary Fund to assist Iran during the pandemic.
“The sanction on health items is an illegal and inhumane act and a symbol of Trump’s open hostility to the Iranian people,” Shamkhani wrote in a tweet on Sunday.
The US opposition to granting facilities to Iran by the International Monetary Fund to meet the required medical items to fight against the coronavirus is a real example of crimes against humanity.”
“Trump is more dangerous than coronavirus,” Shamkhani added.
More than 3,600 people have died of COVID-19 in Iran, while the number of confirmed cases in the country reached nearly 60,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Trump on Friday said he would have a “moral responsibility” to help Iran in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic if leaders of the country asked for assistance.
“Well they haven’t even asked us to do that,” said Trump when asked if the United States would consider easing sanctions on Iran in light of the global outbreak.
“If they want to meet, we’d love to meet and we’d settle the whole thing out,” he added.
Since 2018, the Trump administration has imposed a policy of “maximum pressure” sanctions against Tehran after Washington withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement.
Under the deal reached between Iran, the US, the European Union, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany in 2015 Tehran promised to curtail its nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.
Over the last month, as the virus spread rapidly in Iran, the US repeatedly tightened sanctions designed to choke off Tehran‘s crucial oil exports.
On March 26, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on 20 Iranian people and companies accused of supporting a Shia militia in Iraq, which is believed to be responsible for attacks on bases where US forces are located.