01:35 GMT19 April 2021
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    The US sanctions on Iran in response to the country’s nuclear program have prevented Iranian people from getting access to humanitarian imports, such as essential medicines for ailments like epilepsy and cancer.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday slammed the US’ meddling in the Middle East as well as the US sanctions on Iran during a deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

    “[The] US economic war against Iran has consequences, including hurdles in fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Iran,” Zarif said during the second International Tehran Dialogue Forum, where he was joined with Turkish and Afghan counterparts, Press TV reported.

    According to a report by Human Rights Watch, the US sanctions against Iran, coupled with the steep depreciation of the Iranian currency, the rial, have had “devastating effects on millions of patients” who rely on essential medicines and medical equipment from outside Iran.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also denounced the unilateral sanctions against Iran, expressing support for Washington’s restoration of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

    “We can achieve peace and prosperity together in our region,” he noted.

    Afghan Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar also warned about security threats in Afghanistan, warning that the country should not become a breeding ground for terrorists.

    During his speech, Zarif also accused the US of spending billions of dollars on its military industry to interfere in the Middle East’s affairs. He also called for dialogue among regional nations to prevent outside interference by the US, noting that “Iran is ready to hold talks with all its neighbors” over the region’s security. 

    Iran has long advocated that peace be established in the region without any intervention from foreign forces. Iran’s Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) initiative was disclosed by Iran during the 74th United National General Assembly in 2019. The purpose of the plan is to establish security in the Middle East, including in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, with the assistance of all countries in the region.


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    Javad Zarif, Middle East, Iran
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