President Hassan Rouhani says the US offer to help Iran in its fight against the coronavirus is one of the biggest lies in history where American sanctions are hindering Tehran’s access to medical supplies.
Rouhani on Monday noted that Washington’s “unjust, illegal and terrorist” sanctions against Iran as well as other countries’ submission to the US pressure over fear of punishment “have created many problems for our country”.
Iran is battling the coronavirus under the harshest sanctions which the US imposed after leaving a UN-backed nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers in 2018.
After leaving the landmark nuclear deal, Washington began forcing its European allies and other countries to toe its sanctions line.
As a result, Britain, France, and Germany have stopped their transactions with the Islamic Republic in breach of the nuclear deal which requires the signatories to protect Iran from the sanctions.
Rouhani said American leaders are lying when they claim that they want to help Iran, adding all they need to do is to lift sanctions. “Then we can deal with the coronavirus outbreak,” he added.
US officials have refused to lift draconian sanctions which are hampering Iran’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. They have instead claimed readiness to aid Iranians, with President Donald Trump saying “all they have to do is ask”.
Rouhani said the US president “is like someone who has blocked the path to a well and not allowing anybody to approach the clean water of the well … and in return compliments a glass of muddy water and says, ‘I have come to help and I know you are thirsty’.”
The Iranian president blamed the US for the shortage of some essential medicines and making life difficult for Iranians.
“We don’t need the US’ glass of muddy water,” he said, adding the Americans had better remove the barriers.
“They would rather go away and remove the barriers and do not harm nations and companies, buyers and importers and exporters. Our nation and our businessmen, doctors and scientists themselves know well what to do,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani stressed that the Iranian nation will stand on its own feet.
In late January, the United States and Switzerland announced the launch of a channel to ship food and medicine to Iran from the Scandinavian country.
Washington alleges that it has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from its anti-Iran sanctions, something that Tehran rejects as a “brazen” lie as the bans have deterred several foreign banks from doing any business with Tehran.
Iran has written to the United Nations and all international organizations, urging the removal of the draconian measures that have come in the way of the country’s fight against the virus.
Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Monday that the number of coronavirus deaths had increased to 1,812 and the total infections to 23,049 during the past 24 hours.
“There have been 127 new deaths and 1,411 new infections since Sunday,” he said.
Jahanpour further put the number of patients who have recovered from the viral disease at 8,376.
Source: Iranian Agencies