Rouhani Dismisses US Offer of Help with Coronavirus Fight
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed the US government’s offer to help Iran in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, saying all Iranians know that the American officials’ claim of being ready to help is nothing but a lie.
“Unfortunately, those who imposed sanctions and blocked the (Iranian) people’s access to even medicines and foodstuffs (and) have taken the most vicious act against the Iranian nation over the past two years” are now pretending to be sympathetic and offering help, Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday.
“If you (the American officials) are really honest, at least lift the sanctions on drugs,” he said, adding that it would be the first step to show their sincerity.
“Our people are well aware that you are lying; you are not telling the truth,” the Iranian president went on to say.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani expressed his gratitude to all governments and nations that have helped or announced their readiness to help the Islamic Republic to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday that his country had offered Iran assistance in the fight against the coronavirus.
On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi dismissed Pompeo’s remarks as hypocritical and deceitful propaganda.
The Iranian Health Ministry’s public relations director said since the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, 92 people have lost their lives and 552 others have completely recovered from the infectious disease.
Kianoush Jahanpour said on Wednesday that since yesterday, the total number of coronavirus cases has increased by 586, reaching 2922.
Medical staffs in 21 provinces of Iran have been working tirelessly over the past days to contain the novel coronavirus that has originated from China.
Following the increase of coronavirus increase, the Iranian government ordered the shutting of schools until Tuesday and extended the closure of universities and a ban on concerts and sports events for a week.
Several high-ranking officials, including the deputy health minister and five lawmakers, have tested positive for the coronavirus as the spread of the outbreak forced the government to call on people to stay at home.