Macron states readiness to continue humanitarian cooperation with Iran [The Nation] 07 Apr, 2020

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a phone conversation with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, stated the readiness of France and European partners to continue their humanitarian cooperation with Iran, the Elysee Palace said in a statement. "The President of the Republic had a meeting today with the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Heexpressed solidarity with the Iranianpeople, severely affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic", it said. "He recalled that France and its European partners haddelivered medical equipmentto Iran and were ready to continue humanitarian cooperation", the Elysee Palace said. Macron also said he hoped Iran would return to compliance with its nuclear obligations and refrain from taking further measures out of line with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran is one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 and has been struggling to slow the outbreak, a taskmade more difficultas the nation is under severe trade sanctions by the Trump administration. Tehran, along with many world officials and organisations, has repeatedly called on Washington to ease its unilateral economic sanctions to help Iran tackle the spread of the pandemic. Russia and China, along with other nations, have consistently called on the administration of US President DonaldTrump to lift the sanctions, and have sent humanitarian aid and medical professionals to Iran in a bid to help the coronavirus-hit country. As of Monday, Iran has seen 136 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's overall death toll to 3,739, along with 60,500 confirmed infection cases, according to the Iranian Health Ministry.

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