TEHRAN, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Minister of Oil Bijan Zanganeh has blamed the U.S. government's embargoes for hundreds of daily deaths in Iran due to obstacles created in the fight against COVID-19, Tasnim news agency reported on Friday.
"The U.S. embargoes against Iran and the privation of its hydrocarbon revenues have made it difficult for Iran to deal with the coronavirus," Zanganeh said in the 22nd ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum through videoconference.
He stressed the United States must be held accountable for the deaths in Iran.
The number of daily deaths related to COVID-19 has surpassed 400 steadily for nearly two weeks now, following a sustained aggravation of the outbreak since the beginning of September.
In the last months, Iranian officials have demanded compensation for the severe financial losses endured by Iran under the impact of the U.S. policy of "maximum pressure" through economic unilateral embargoes.
The United States has restricted Iran's access to its own revenues, which has made the Iranian government unable to distribute resources to protect the Iranian people's health and livelihood, Zanganeh said.
However, the minister noted Iran has been able to develop its gas industry and reach a record production capacity of 1 billion cubic meters per day. Enditem