Apr 12, 2020, 4:21 PM
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World Council of Churches calls for lifting of sanctions on Iran

Tehran, Apr 12, IRNA – The World Council of Churches and the National Association of Churches of Christ (PBUH) expressed their deep concern over the US sanctions against the Iranian people following Ebrahim Abuzar Torkaman, chief of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) sent messages to the world's religious leaders.

Several ecclesiastical organizations around the world wrote in a letter to US President Donald Trump to lift sanctions against the Iranian nation after Torkaman's message to the the religious leaders.

The letter as follows;

On this occasion, Easter Sunday (the great Christian holiday after forty days of fasting), this is a very important day in the annual church calendar for Christians around the world, and as Muslims approach the holy month of Ramadan, we are faced with a new and challenging reality that requires us to refrain from attending religious gatherings. So that we can protect ourselves and our communities from disease and injury.

In this unprecedented situation, we also have a special opportunity and responsibility to think deeply and to renew and search for a new beginning (of behaviors). The coronavirus is a common enemy of humanity everywhere.

The virus threatens everyone without regard to nationality, ethnicity, religion, politics or any other human affiliation, and only its impact on people and communities affected by health or poverty is highly discriminatory.

An effective response to epidemic disease requires an unprecedented degree of global solidarity and cooperation, special care for the most vulnerable, and rapid action to reduce the conditions that make it more vulnerable. In this context, we, as the World Council of Churches, the Organization of the Joint Action of the Churches and the National Association of Churches of Jesus Christ (pbuh) in the United States, express our deep concern over the US sanctions against the Iranian people.

In the context of the principle of international solidarity and humanitarian principles, and at the request of the United Nations for a global ceasefire, we urge you to lift crippling sanctions on Iran, including financial sanctions, in order to step up efforts to combat this pervasive virus. Cancel Iran's ability to import medical supplies and equipment, and allow the International Monetary Fund to respond to Iran's emergency loan request to help resolve the crisis.

In the context of the global crisis, we also call on the United States to impose sanctions and sanctions on other parts of the world, such as Syria, Gaza, Venezuela, and Cuba, whose people are victims of political conflict. Take medicine and medical equipment.

The current situation is by no means conducive to pursuing a policy of punishment before the Corona Crisis. Now is the time for international solidarity and cooperation in controlling the spread of corona and protecting vulnerable people, as well as trying to defeat Corona, this common enemy.

Head of the Iranian Health Ministry's Public Relations Office Kianoush Jahanpour said on Sunday that a total of 71,686 people in Iran has been infected by the coronavirus, from whom 4,474 people have lost their lives fighting COVID-19.

Jahanpour added that 1,657 new affected cases have been detected since yesterday.

The Iranian official reiterated that 3,930 patients are in critical condition.

He said that in the past 24 hours, 117 COVID-19 patients have lost their lives.

Urging the people to keep staying at home, Jahanpour went on to say that 263,388 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far.

Iran has taken numerous steps to stop the spread of the disease, ranging from shutting down schools and universities to canceling cultural and religious gatherings. It is also constantly disinfecting and sanitizing public places.

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