Apr 08, 2020 15:15 UTC
  • Zarif welcomes Russia’s initiative of ‘green corridor’ to replace sanctions amid COVID-19 fight

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has welcomed Russia’s initiative for the creation of a "green corridor" to replace economic sanctions amid the global battle against the new coronavirus pandemic.

According to Press TV, Iran welcomes the Russian idea of "creating a green corridor instead of an economic war and sanctions,” Zarif wrote in a Russian post on Twitter on Wednesday.

Different countries, which shut their geographical borders in order to control the situation with coronavirus, open them to provide assistance, he added.

Zarif particularly took a swipe at the US president for defying international calls for removing the sanctions against Iran, warning about further spread of the deadly virus.

“Donald Trump continues to resist international demands to lift Iranian sanctions to counter coronavirus infection. Coronavirus can spread to neighboring countries,” he said.

The top Iranian diplomat’s comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the lifting of sanctions on various countries that are hindering the global fight against the new coronavirus.

"I am talking about the countries that are suffering the most from this pandemic. At the end of the day, it's a question of life and death, this is a purely humanitarian issue," the Russian leader said via teleconference to the leaders of the G20 group on March 26.

"Ideally we should introduce a ... joint moratorium on restrictions on essential goods as well as on financial transactions for their purchase," Putin noted, adding, "These matters should be freed of any politics."

Russia Embassy calls for lifting of US bans on Iran amid COVID-19

Separately on Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in Washington in a post on Twitter called for the lifting of “inhuman restrictive measures” by the US against Iran.

The mission pointed to an earlier call by the Human Rights Watch on the US to lift its sanctions on Iran, adding, “In the US, more and more Americans realize that the path of restrictions lead to a dead end.”

A report published by the New York-based HRW on Monday asserted that international law obliges any country imposing sanctions on another to “consider the impact on the human rights of the affected population, especially regarding their access to goods essential to life, including medicines and food.”

The broad bans “are negatively affecting the Iranian government’s ability to adequately respond to the mounting health consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said the HRW.

Washington “should take immediate action to ease US sanctions and expand licensing of sanctions-exempt items to ensure Iran’s access to essential humanitarian resources during the pandemic,” the group added.