Pakistan in Support to the People of Iran
Dr. Natalia Zamaraeva
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Science Academy
Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world to express solidarity with the people of Iran during the hot days of the rapidly spreading epidemic of coronavirus. Sanctions imposed by the USA against Iran, the actual restrictions on the sale of crude oil, severely hit the country’s economy.
Prime Minister Imran Khan repeatedly appealed to the US president Donald Trump with a request to lift the decisive sanctions against Tehran implemented after the United States unilaterally left the JCPOA, informally known as the “2015 Iran Nuclear Deal”. He also added that «…Iran is a «classic example of a place where the humanitarian imperative of containing an outbreak outweighs political competition or economic dogma».
This appeal by the head of the government of Pakistan is dictated by humanitarian goals – to gather strength to give the people of Iran the opportunity to fight COVID-19.
Islamabad noticeably speed up diplomatic efforts to lift US sanctions against Tehran after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani applied to prime- minister I. Khan in writing asking him to play his role in this regard.
I. Khan’s appeal was addressed to the US president Donald Trump, despite his requests to the international community to oppose Iran’s support. It was done in contradiction to the previous US administration
Currently, the United States has strengthened the sanctions regime against Iran. On March 18, 2020, in addition to the existing acts, the US Department of State additionally «…imposed sanctions on nine entities and three persons», what else more difficult economic situation of the country. Lack of free financial resources makes it difficult to fight the global epidemic
As of March 20, the number of Covid-19 Cases in Iran amounted to 23,049, the number of deaths – 1812 Covid-19 cases in Iran hit 23,049, death toll at 1,812
Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi quoted Iranian officials saying that one person dies in the country every 10 minutes and 50 people get infected every hour. He affirmed that world leaders should abide by the instructions of the United Nations Secretary-General (UNG), Antoniu Guterres, on the unification of humanity.
The appeal to the USA is not the only act of Pakistan in the struggle for the humanitarian survival of mankind. The head of the FO of Pakistan also appealed to the international community to consider the possibility of writing off loans for developing countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and others. It will help to direct the released financial resources to the fight against the coronavirus that has swept the whole world.
Prime-minister Imran Khan, in an interview with The Associated Press said «… the new coronavirus will devastate the economies of developing countries, and warned the richer economies of the need to write off the debts of the poorer countries of the world».
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif underlined that it is a «moral and practical’ obligation to help end U.S. ‘mass punishment’ of Iranians» reiterated that «US is not listening” to “the growing global campaign” to lift “illegal” sanctions on the Iranians and thereby “impeding global fight against Covid-19.