Guterres urges countries to support Iran amid COVID-19 crisis

Guterres urges countries to support Iran amid COVID-19 crisis

Agency News

United Nations, Mar 13: UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Guterres has urged all member states to provide support to Iran as the country faces shortage of medicines amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, which is one of the countries strongest hit by the virus," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Thursday. "He is also very much aware of the existing shortage of medicine and medical equipment that makes it much more difficult to contain the outbreak in Iran, and he appeals to all member states to facilitate and support Iran's efforts in this critical moment, " he added.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif sent a letter to the UN chief, in which he called for lifting of the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic as they undermine the country’s efforts to cope with COVID-19. Zarif, in the letter, said the US sanctions make it impossible for Iran to receive imported medicine and medical equipment. Dujarric confirmed that Guterres had received the letter and stated that Iran could count on the support of the UN system, including the World Health Organization and the UN country team. On Thursday, Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran’s health minister, said that the total number of COVID-19 cases in Iran has risen to over 10,000, while the death toll has reached 429 people. (UNI)