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23 Mar, 2020 09:22

US must lift sanctions if they truly want to help Iran fight against coronavirus pandemic — Rouhani

US must lift sanctions if they truly want to help Iran fight against coronavirus pandemic — Rouhani

Washington’s offers to help Tehran against the deadly Covid-19 disease are disingenuous, because it is the US sanctions that undermine people’s access to medical care, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said.

“When the Americans say they are ready to help Iran against the coronavirus, it is one of the greatest lies in history,” Rouhani said on Monday, urging Washington to “stop getting in the way of Iranian people doing business.”

If they want to help Iran, all they need to do is to lift sanctions.

Rouhani blamed the sweeping US sanctions for exacerbating unemployment and “creating problems with the supply of medicine and equipment” required for testing and treating Covid-19 patients.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had earlier accused Tehran of trying to conceal the scope of the outbreak, calling the Iranian government “an accomplice” of coronavirus.

Also on rt.com It’s strange for US to offer help against Covid-19 outbreak after ‘accusations’ it created the virus – Iran’s Khamenei

On March 17, when the coronavirus outbreak in Iran was in full swing, the US hit the country with a new batch of sanctions as part of Washington’s mounting “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Iranian officials have been warning that foreign-imposed economic restrictions make it harder for regular people to have access to drugs and other medical supplies. Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the US sanctions amid Covid-19 as “medical terrorism.”

Iran remains among the nations hardest hit by the pandemic, with its death toll growing to 1,685 on Sunday. More than 21,600 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country.

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