Citing the increasing loss of lives to COVID-19 and a lack of medical resources, an Iranian cleric has urged Pope Francis to do what he can to help get United States sanctions against Iran lifted. Source: CNS.
By Carol Glatz, CNS
“Without judging the root causes of these inhuman sanctions imposed by the United States, as an Iranian Islamic scholar, I humbly ask you, as a beloved world leader of Catholics, to intervene so that those sanctions are eliminated,” wrote Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad Ahmadabadi.
Promoting the end to the sanctions is a humanitarian act befitting those who believe in Jesus, who “for the whole world is a universal symbol of peace and love,” he said in a letter addressed to Pope Francis. The text of the letter was also sent to Fides, the Vatican’s missionary news agency, and was published on their website on Friday.
In his letter to Pope Francis, the ayatollah said Iran has seen a rapid spread of the coronavirus, with many people “struggling painfully against the loss of loved ones caused very often by the serious lack of medical resources due to the consequences of sanctions imposed by the United States.”
The sanctions “have greatly multiplied the sufferings and afflictions of the oppressed Iranian Muslim people and have forced them to face countless problems that have had a profound and negative impact on their life, on their peace and spiritual tranquillity and moreover, have deprived them of the most basic and inalienable human rights,” the letter said.
“In these days in which men all over the world are seriously threatened by the appalling spread of COVID-19, I am deeply convinced that the Holy Father, with sincere love and compassion, continues to pray that this international tragedy may cease and human suffering finds relief.”
Iran has reported at least 23,000 known cases of coronavirus and nearly 2,000 deaths. It is one of the hardest-hit nations after China, Italy and Spain. Even though the government has closed schools and key pilgrimage sites, cancelled Friday public prayers and requested people avoid all travel, millions of people have ignored restrictions because of the Persian New Year holidays, according to the Iranian Red Crescent.