President Ibrahim Raisi took a more critical and sharp stance on US foreign policy than his liberal predecessor Hassan Rouhani’s speeches at the UN General Assembly in the past.
Raisi, who was sworn in after the election last month, is a conservative cleric and former judiciary chief seen as close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
His speech gives a glimpse of where the Shia-led nation sees its place in the world despite tough US sanctions. These sanctions have caused huge damage to the country’s economy and to ordinary Iranian citizens.
“The sanctions are America’s new way of war with the countries of the world,” Raisey said. He also said that such economic punishment is tantamount to a “crime against humanity” during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
US sanctions may have exempted humanitarian aid, but made international purchases of drugs and equipment difficult. There were several waves of corona virus infection in Iran, in which about 118,000 people died, which is the highest in the region.
AP Neha Gola