Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan called Friday for the lifting of “unjust” US-led sanctions on neighboring Iran, so Tehran can better deal with the novel coronavirus crisis.
The United States should lift sanctions if it wants to help Iran to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, adding that Iran had no intention of accepting Washington’s offer of humanitarian assistance.
Khan’s comments came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wrote to him asking for help in dealing with the novel coronavirus outbreak that has now killed more than one thousand people in Iran.
“I would stress and insist to the international community to lift the sanctions on Iran,” Khan said at a press conference.
“It is very unjust they are dealing with such a large outbreak on one side, and on the other they are facing international sanctions.”
Pakistan shares a 960-kilometer (600-mile) border with Iran, with the main crossing point located at Taftan in Balochistan province.
Pakistan sealed its border with Iran last week, but not before hundreds of pilgrims returned home from the Islamic Republic, which has been one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The US withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal and began reimposing punishing sanctions on Iran in 2018, blocking banking transactions and oil sales, among other sectors.
Tensions have soured further since the US assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in January.
Pakistan offered to mediate between the US and Iran in a bid to defuse tensions following the killing.