Feb 28, 2020, 7:37 PM
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US illegal sanctions, threat to global health security: Iran embassy

Islamabad, Feb 28, IRNA -- Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pakistan says the US unilateral and illegal sanctions are a threat to international health security.

The embassy in a statement on Friday said that these sanctions could endanger health security by depriving the Iranian people of access to adequate health facilities, medicines, and appropriate medical care.

It added that since the outbreak of the new Coronavirus in China, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been predicting that the virus will reach Iran as well, given the severity of the outbreak and its spread.

“Therefore, the government planned to deal with it and the necessary preparations were made,” it said.

It added despite the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran was on the verge of holding a crucial parliamentary election, the Iranian government notified the media and the general public as soon as it identified the first case of the virus because public health and compliance with International Health Regulations (IHR), which guarantees international health security, is a top priority for us.

The statement further added that since the outbreak in China, at the behest of the Honorable Minister of Health on 2020 January 21, a Corona Control Center has been established in the Ministry of Health with 12 sub-committees that monitor interdepartmental activities.

“On this basis, regular meetings are held daily at the Iranian Ministry of Health and the latest status of the issue is reported publicly at a specific time of day (13:00 hours). Although the cases of Coronavirus in Iran is low and limited compared to global statistics, the process of identification, treatment and public awareness is carried out rapidly and accurately,” said the embassy.

It added that International Health Regulations require member states to share information transparently with other countries at the time of outbreaks that endangers international health security.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has acted within the framework of its obligations under these Regulations, and therefore expects other countries, in particular neighboring countries, to be committed to their responsibilities and the principle of proportionality and avoidance of undue effect of their actions on international business and traffic. By doing so, countries must contribute to the generality and applicability of international regulations,” noted the statement.

It said Iran has invited managers and experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) to visit Iran's health, medical and therapeutic facilities and provide it with additional advice and experience of other countries in the fight against the virus.

“In fact, in line with our international commitments, Iran's efforts and actions are not only to protect the health of the Iranian people but to maintain health security for the entire region and we do not allow the health of the countries in the region to be endangered,” it said.

The statement noted that as Iran has always emphasized, US unilateral and illegal sanctions are also a threat to international health security.

“We hope that US unilateral actions and political pressure will not again hinder the transfer of international aid to Iran and provide an excuse to impede the continuation of friendly relations and regional cooperation,” added the embassy.

It said the embassy of Iran requests free and truth-seeking media to pursue and release relevant news and information exclusively from credible, authentic and official sources and to refrain from spreading rumors and fabricated news.

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