China on Monday called on the US to remove its sanctions against Iran, saying that the embargoes will hamper the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The unilateral US sanctions will further hamper Iran’s efforts in combating the virus while it’s already struggling to cope with the crisis, Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a weekly press briefing.
He pointed out that keeping the sanctions at this point would be immoral, as sanctions are pressing Iran’s economy and have hindered international aids.
Thus removing current sanctions will help preserve Iran’s economic and social wellbeing during this critical period, Geng said.
Geng also said that China is in close contact with Tehran concerning the spread of the pandemic. He said that China will continue to provide any resources that Iran would need in fighting the virus such as providing medical supplies and sending teams of medics.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of sympathy to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday.
Xi said he appreciated the Iranian government and people for their support and assistance during China’s fight against the epidemic, adding that China is lending Iran a helping hand.
Xi believed that the Iranian government and its people will win the war eventually.
First detected in Wuhan city in central China in December, the virus has spread to more than 120 countries, infecting more than 153,000 globally.
Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoosh Jahanpoor announced on Monday that 129 people have died of COVID-19 in the country over the past 24 hours, the country’s highest daily death toll since the outbreak of the infectious disease.
The number of people tested positive for the coronavirus in Iran has also hit 14,991 after detection of 1,209 new cases over the past 24 hours, he added.
Jahanpoor said while the coronavirus death toll in Iran has reached 853, a total of 4,996 patients have been discharged from the hospital after recovering from the disease.