Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on March 16, 2020 (Excerpts)

March 16, 2020

Related Country: 

  • United States


Q: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned continued US sanctions which have severely hampered Iran's fight against COVID-19, calling them a collective punishment of the Iranian people. Pointing out that these sanctions have caused about $200 billion direct damages to the Iranian economy in less than two years, he called on the international community to reject illegal sanctions by the US and support Iran's fight against the epidemic. Do you have any response?

A: The Iranian government and people are at a crucial juncture in their fight against the epidemic. Continued unilateral sanctions at this particular time will only make things worse, which apparently breach international law, basic norms governing international relations and humanitarianism. They also severely impact Iran's epidemic response and the delivery of humanitarian aid by the UN and other organizations. We urge the relevant country to immediately lift such sanctions on Iran, stop getting in the way of Iran's efforts against the epidemic and avoid further harm to Iran's economy and people's livelihood.

China is closely following the development of the epidemic in Iran and offering assistance to the best of its capability. Earlier on, China has provided test kits and other medical supplies and dispatched an expert team to Iran. We will continue to do our utmost to help them in light of their needs. We also call on the international community to strengthen cooperation with Iran and jointly safeguard regional and global public health security.