EUROPE/ITALY - Appeal from Christian associations and communities: Opening of "health corridors" for Iran and the urgent need to stop sanctions

Wednesday, 1 April 2020 middle east   coronavirus   geopolitics   humanitarian assistance   area crisis  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – The creation of a "health aid corridor" to bring essential medicines and medical supplies to Iran to combat the Coronavirus epidemic; immediate suspension of the economic sanctions affecting the Country, to allow the supply of all the goods useful to stem the health emergency: are the requests contained in an appeal signed in Italy by associations, Christian communities, individual personalities of culture and acronyms engaged in the protection of rights and humanitarian relief initiatives.
The appeal is addressed in particular "to the States least affected by the emergency", and is addressed for information to the Supreme Guide of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, to the President of the European Parliament Davide Sassoli and to the Head of the Italian State, President Sergio Mattarella. "It is well known that Iran, one of the Countries most affected by coronavirus", reads the text of the appeal sent to Agenzia Fides, "is unable to receive the essential medical aid to contain the epidemic, as they are still blocked by international sanctions".
The appeal stresses that access to medicines, medical equipment and treatment "is a fundamental human right enshrined in the United Nations Charter", and that "the International Court of Justice has established that all sanctions that violate the humanitarian activity must be suspended, and the free access of States to safeguards and resources designed to avert health crises and natural disasters must be authorized (and not sanctioned)". Everyone is asked for "proof of humanity, civilization, brotherhood and even intelligence", also considering the fact that "the epidemic in progress in Iran poses a serious threat not only to the Iranian people, but to all peoples of the region and for all humanity, which cannot be considered risk-free until the Iranian problem is resolved". The pandemic crisis, in fact, is making it clear to everyone that as long as only one outbreak remains active, "nobody will be able to consider themselves safe from the epidemic. It is therefore the moment to implement a strong solidarity and an active brotherhood among peoples".
The appeal is signed by the representatives of European Women For Human Rights. Among others, the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, the Religions for Peace association, Cipax (Inter-confessional Center for Peace), the Romanian Fraternity led by Fr Luigi Verdi, the International Association Karol Wojtyla, the Islamic theologian Shahrzad Houshmand Zadeh, Professor Gianfranco Pasquino, the writer Paolo Rumiz, the Tevere Institute, the President of the UCID Catholic Union of Business Leaders) Gianluca Galletti, the writer and photographer Monika Bulay have joined the appeal.
In mid-March (see Fides, 20/3/2020) the letter that Iranian Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad had addressed to Pope Francis was made known, asking him to intervene to ensure that sanctions against Iran were lifted, especially that concerning medical care. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 1/4/2020)