China calls for lifting of U.S. sanctions against Iran

By Betsey Piette
March 17, 2020

Amid the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19, China called on March 16 for the immediate lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

China’s call came in response to a letter sent by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to leaders of several countries.

CodePink demonstrates in front of the Treasury Department, Washington, D.C., on March 11.

Rouhani accused the U.S. government of continuing to thwart Iran’s efforts to counter the pandemic, noting that sanctions have caused around $200 billion in direct damages to Iran’s economy in less than two years. The U.S. sanctions have now severely limited Iran’s access to vital medical supplies to combat the disease.

Speaking at a press briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang supported Iran’s call, noting that continued unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran have deteriorated health conditions in the country and “gone against the humanitarian spirit.” He added that the sanctions seriously affect Iran’s fight against the pandemic and limit humanitarian aid from the United Nations and other international organizations. (

China has already sent test kits and other anti-epidemic materials, plus a team of voluntary experts, to Iran.  The team is encouraging the international community to support Iran.

(Photo: Medea Benjamin)