Iran foreign minister calls US sanctions 'economic terrorism,' asks for halt

Iran foreign minister calls US sanctions 'economic terrorism,' asks for halt
© ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, demanded on Thursday that the U.S. lift sanctions that he described as a “campaign of economic terrorism."

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Zarif said that the sanctions were not only crippling the country's oil industry, but making it incredibly difficult for Iran to get the necessary medical supplies needed to combat the coronavirus, The Associated Press reports.

“To this end, it is imperative that the United Nations and its member states join the Iranian people in demanding that the government of the United States abandon its malign and fruitless approach against Iran," Zarif wrote.

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Iran has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with more than 10,000 reported cases and more than 400 deaths.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the wire service that Guterres is “deeply concerned” about Iran's outbreak and stated that the the U.N. is providing support.

Zarif also said that the U.S.'s behavior was in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE pulled out of in 2018.

“While other nations debate how to control the spread of the virus — and while their economies suffer and fear takes hold among their populations — our people not only suffer from its effects without the full benefits of adequate medical equipment and supplies, but also the many other ways in which U.S. economic terrorism had devastated many households prior to the inception of COVID-19, and only made worse since its arrival in Iran,” Zarif said.