France's Macron calls on Iran to respect nuclear obligations after US blocks coronavirus loan

France's Macron calls on Iran to respect nuclear obligations after US blocks coronavirus loan
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Iran's Hassan Rouhani to talk about the country's nuclear promises as the world reels over Covid-19.
2 min read
07 April, 2020
Emmanuel Macron is urging Iran to stick to its commitments [Getty]

French President Emmanuel Macron is urging Iran to respect its nuclear obligations during a phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani, whilst adding that the international community must come together to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"He [Macron] hoped that Iran would turn to the respect of its nuclear obligations, refrain from taking new measures contrary to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and contribute to the easing of regional tensions," Elysee said in a statement.

Rouhani's office said the Iranian president had called for support with Covid-19, after the United States blocked an IMF loan to help fight the virus as officials say over 3,600 have died so far in the country.

"Without join global cooperation and exchange of our experiences, we cannot master this critical phase," Rouhani said.

This comes as Human Rights Watch on Sunday called on the US to ease economic sanctions on Iran and expand the licensing of sanctions – exempt items to help the country during the pandemic.

It joined a chorus of NGOs and world leaders around the world as Iran buckles under the pressure of combating the Covid-19 crisis, with more than 58,000 people infected in the country since 19 February. Health experts have described Iran as the "epicentre" of the outbreak in the Middle East.

Reports emerged last month that the Central Bank of Iran requested a $5 billion loan from the IMF - for the first time since 1962 - to help fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The United States' obstruction for an IMF loan to help Iran fight the novel coronavirus amounts to "crimes against humanity", Iran's Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said Sunday.

Washington used its powers to block "the IMF's granting a loan to Iran to provide the necessary equipment to fight the coronavirus outbreak is a real instance of crimes against humanity", Shamkhani tweeted on Sunday.

Sanctioning medical items, he said, is "an illegal act, an anti-human rights move, and (US President Donald) Trump's open animosity with Iranian people".

Shamkhani added a hashtag saying: "Trump is more dangerous than coronavirus" in Farsi.

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