TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif censured the US for refusing to lift its sanctions against Tehran amid the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in the country, adding that “viruses recognize no politics or geography nor should we”.

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“In letter to counterparts @HassanRouhani informs how efforts to fight #COVID19 pandemic in Iran have been severely hampered by US sanctions, urging them to cease observing them: It is IMMORAL to let a bully kill innocents. Viruses recognize no politics or geography. Nor should we,” Zarif tweeted late on Saturday.

The top Iranian diplomat was referring to a letter sent by President Hassan Rouhani to a number of world leaders on Friday, calling for joint and coordinated regional and international measures against the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

“This virus knows no boundary and claims victims without political, religious, ethnic, and racial considerations,” Rouhani said.

Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said Saturday the new coronavirus has claimed 611 lives in the country so far.

He added that 1,365 fresh cases have been added to the number of confirmed infections during the period, bringing the total to 12,729.

More than 4,300 of those with confirmed infections have recovered so far.