0828 GMT November 30, 2020
The South Korean Committee for Implementation of the June 15 Joint Declaration urged the Unites States and the United Nations not only to grant exemptions to specific supplies but to lift sanctions against the countries, according to Yonhap News Agency.
"Sanctioned countries, including North Korea, Iran and Iraq, are struggling with lack of supplies due to powerful sanctions imposed by the US and the UN amid increasing pressure on countries around the world to prevent the coronavirus," it said.
The organization said that the US offering to help North Korea while continuing to maintain sanctions is "illogical," pointing out to an earlier remark by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who had said the UN sanctions will be maintained.
The statement by the Korean organization came amid global anger over the US refusal to lift its illegal sanctions against countries such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Venezuela which have been fighting the deadly novel virus in the past months.
On Friday, the Group of 77 (G-77) and China in a statement called for an end to unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries amid global efforts to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The coalition of developing nations warned that unilateral sanctions adversely affect the capacity of the targeted countries to deal with the highly contagious disease.
The battle against the fast-spreading virus has been exceptionally hard in the countries like Iran as their efforts have been severely hampered by illegal American economic sanctions.
The US restrictive measures have hindered Iran’s ability to import medicine and other medical supplies to confront the coronavirus.
Earlier last week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said US “medical terrorism” is leading to “humanitarian catastrophe”; as it makes it “impossible” for ordinary people to have access to essential drugs amid the pandemic.
In Iran, the flu-like virus has so far infected more than 50,000 people and killed over 3,000 others.
Iranian Ambassador to Brussels Gholamhossein Dehqani also called on the European Union to oppose the continuation of the US sanctions on Iran.
In a letter to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Saturday, the Iranian diplomat described the devastating effects of the coronavirus outbreak and at the same time the impacts of the US sanctions on Iran.
He urged the bloc’s member states to oppose the continuation of the sanctions reimposed by the Washington on Iranians following its unilateral pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Referring to the shortage of vital medical equipment in Iran for fighting the pandemic, Dehqani said Iran has lost some of its best doctors and nurses, as well as more than 3,000 citizens due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
"The US unilateral and illegal sanctions imposed on Iran under the guise of the maximum pressure campaign undermine Iran's ability to effectively fight the virus in the long run without international support,” he warned.
A day earlier, Borrell in a statement said sanctions should not stop the delivery of medical equipment and supplies to countries trying to contain outbreaks of coronavirus.
Borrell’s comments came after the US ignored calls to suspend its sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.
IRNA, the Guardian and Press TV contributed to this story.