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28 Feb, 2020 23:56

‘Not noble to cheer human suffering’: Tehran shreds US offer of ‘help’ with coronavirus as Pompeo vows to ‘sustain’ sanctions

‘Not noble to cheer human suffering’: Tehran shreds US offer of ‘help’ with coronavirus as Pompeo vows to ‘sustain’ sanctions

Washington’s offer to assist Tehran with its Covid-19 outbreak is pure hypocrisy, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said, condemning the top US diplomat after he promised to keep up crippling sanctions on Iran while vowing to send aid.

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers on Friday that the administration had extended an offer to help Tehran beat back the lethal virus, he couldn’t help but take jabs at “the regime,” insisting Washington would “sustain [its] pressure” through a devastating sanctions campaign – at one point going as far as to say that Iranians were “thankful” to suffer under it.

The hollow offer was met with indignation from Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi, who dismissed the proposal as “ridiculous” in light of the “economic terrorism” currently imposed by the very same government promising to help.

“The claim of helping Iran in the fight against coronavirus – made by a country that has exerted massive pressures on the Iranian people with its economic terrorism and has even blocked the [Iranian] purchase of medicine and medical equipment – is a ridiculous claim and a political-psychological game,” Mousavi said in a statement on Friday. “It is not noble to cheer at fellow human beings' suffering.”

The spokesman noted that Tehran remains in “close contact with many countries in order to satisfy the country’s pharmaceutical and health demands” amid the outbreak, which has spread to 388 Iranians, killing at least 34, according to official data.

“The fight against the coronavirus... requires a global resolve and widespread international cooperation, not theatrical moves that are made for political purposes and the abuse... of the patients and those hurt,” Mousavi added.

Also on rt.com Pompeo adds insult to injury by dangling coronavirus ‘help’ in front of sanctions-stricken Iran

Though a report in BBC’s Persian branch stated the death toll had soared to over 200 across the country, citing hospital sources, a Health Ministry spokesperson denied the figure and insisted that the official tally was accurate.

To date, up to seven Iranian officials have contracted the pathogen, including Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who displayed symptoms of the illness during a number of media appearances.

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