The Iranian president has lashed out at the US for pressuring countries into blocking Iranian assets to prevent it from buying medicines and medical equipment.
Addressing a Saturday meeting in Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani dismissed Washington’s approach as inhumane.
“The United States does not allow us to receive $5 billion to get medicines, vaccines and [equipment for] treatment. To such extent have they distanced themselves from humanity,” he said.
“Today, the White House does not have the slightest sense of humanity,” he noted.
President Rouhani added even some friendly countries are refusing to release Iranian assets under pressure from Washington.
“And you Iranian people should know that there is even worse. There are countries which are our friends. Our money is in their banks and they have blocked our money and they are not prepared to unfreeze it,” he said.
“They say the Americans are putting us under pressure, telling them it will take punitive measures if they unfreeze Iran’s money. So, they succumbed to US pressure and oppression. Such a crime is unprecedented in history,” he said.
Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the country is filing lawsuits against “delinquent” South Korean banks which have seized Iran’s money.
Iran has also signaled that it would not be happy with a partial reimbursement through humanitarian shipments.
South Korea reportedly plans to allow Iran to use part of its funds, believed to be between $6 billion and $9 billion, to buy medicine and medical equipment from South Korean companies.