04/14/2020, 09.51
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World Council of Churches to Trump: amid Covid-19 emergency lift sanctions from Iran

In a letter to the White House, the WCC terms the punitive measures imposed by Washington on the Islamic Republic as "illegal and inhuman." The virus is a "common enemy" and requires an "unprecedented" degree of solidarity and cooperation. In Iran some activities reopen, partial easing of restrictive measures.

Tehran (AsiaNews) - In a context of growing emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has sent an appeal to US President Donald Trump, calling for the cessation of "illegal and inhuman" sanctions against the Iran.

The letter was sent in the days preceding Easter, while the Islamic Republic confirms itself as the Middle East nation most affected by the new coronavirus: the updated data speak of over 73,300 confirmed cases, just over 4,500 victims and over 30 thousand recovered.

In the letter addressed to the head of the White House, the ecumenical organization that collects 349 Christian denominations worldwide underlines that "the novel coronavirus is a common enemy of humanity everywhere. An effective response to the pandemic demands an unprecedented degree of global solidarity and cooperation, special care for the most vulnerable, and swift action to mitigate the conditions which create additional vulnerability".

For religious leaders, the "impact" on the Iranian population of the punitive measures imposed by the United States is of serious concern. The response of the health authorities of the Islamic Republic, continue Christian leaders, "has been seriously impeded by a strict sanctions regime imposed by a nation unilaterally" since May 2019 and which has led to "a total economic blockade".

" Now is not the moment for pursuing grievances belonging to the politics of the world before COVID-19," the letter reads. "Now is the moment for international solidarity and cooperation in controlling the spread of the virus, protecting the most vulnerable, and defeating this common enemy".

There have been repeated appeals to the US government to ease its policy of all out confrontation with heavy sanctions against Iran which have caused blockages and restrictions in sending medicines and basic necessities.

To stem sanctions, three European nations have used the Instex system for the first time in sending aid. And news of the sending of medical supplies to the United States, also overwhelmed by the pandemic, by groups of Iranian students, was reported in recent days.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the government of Tehran lifted the ban on travel between cities in the same province, while restrictions on travel between different provinces will end on April 20. State television showed crowded streets, buses and subways crowded in several cities deemed low-risk.

Many shops and businesses are open, with the exception of Tehran where activities will restart from the 18th of the month.

Some experts do not hide the danger of a second wave of contagions, but for the government it remains a priority to restart the economy; however, high-risk services including theaters, swimming pools, saunas, beauty salons, schools, shopping malls and restaurants remain closed.

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See also
European Union presses US to ease sanctions on Tehran
23/04/2020 09:56
Coronavirus, US and EU leaders call on White House to ease grip on Tehran
09/04/2020 10:03
Europe uses Instex system to get medical aid to coronavirus hit Iran
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US sanctions on Iran: Switzerland opens a channel for life-saving medicines
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Zarif attacks Europe (and US) for the embargo on medicines for Iran
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