March 16, 2020 / 2:41 PM / 16 days ago

China urges U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran amid coronavirus response

(Reuters) - China on Monday urged the United States to lift sanctions on Iran immediately amid the Middle Eastern country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The escalating outbreak in Iran - the worst-affected country in the Middle East - has killed 853 people and infected 14,991.

"Continued sanction on Iran was against humanitarianism and hampers Iran's epidemic response & delivery of humanitarian aid by the UN and other organizations," China's ministry of foreign affairs said in a tweet bit.ly/33mYq1r.

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally reimposed sanctions on Tehran’s petroleum exports in 2018 after withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.

Iran said last week it had asked the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler

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