Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at the US sanctions and pressures which have deprived the Iranian people of their right to import drugs and medical equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“The Americans violate the approvals of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the White House which was a terrorist in economic fields is now a terrorist in the treatment sector as well,” President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.
He also called on the international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to comply with their responsibility without being influenced by certain countries, saying, “It is not acceptable to us if they discriminate between us and other countries.”
“It is a historical shame for the US ruling system which continues its pressures on the great Iranian nation in such conditions,” Rouhani said, stressing that the Iranian nation can overcome the problems.
He expressed the hope that Iran would gain self-sufficiency in production of masks and other hygiene products in the near future, noting that the stores across Iran are full of foodstuff and other needed goods while the country is fighting in two fronts against sanctions and coronavirus epidemic.
Rouhani also said that good amounts of basic commodities have been stored to meet people’s needs.
In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected any demand for Washington’s assistance to his country amid the coronavirus outbreak, calling on US President Donald Trump to only lift the cruel sanctions against Iran.
“Iran is rich in human and natural resources. We don’t need charity from Donald Trump- who’s forced to buy ventilators from sources he’s sanctioned,” Zarif wrote on his twitter page, referring to the supply of the US-much needed ventilators from a Russian company that is under Washington’s sanctions.
“What we want is for him to stop preventing Iran from selling oil and other products, buying its needs and making and receiving payments,” he added.
In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi announced that Tehran had never demanded Washington to send medical aid amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying that the US officials want to seize the opportunity to force Iran to hold talks.
“We have not demanded the US to dispatch medical and treatment aid and will not do so,” Mousavi told reporters in a presser via video conference.
“We have witnessed that they (the Americans) wanted to use the opportunity to make Iran sit to the negotiating table,” he added.
Asked about the US officials’ claims that Iran has not demanded removal of sanctions, Mousavi said, “Iran has adopted measures (to this end) and our officials’ demands from the organizations, the UN secretary-general and the International Court of Justice show that Iran does not recognize the US sanctions and wants their removal.”
Responding to a reporter’s question during the White House briefing on Thursday if he would consider easing the sanctions on Iran to allow medical supplies reach the country, US President Donald Trump said, “They haven’t even asked us to do that.”
Also, on Saturday, Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri announced that the US cruel sanctions against his country should be removed due to their strong negative impact on the country’s anti-coronavirus efforts.
“We are facing the US cruel sanctions and the US president impudently tells reporters that the Iranians have not demanded the removal of sanctions,” Jahangiri said in Tehran.
He said that the Iranian nation has since the very first day said that while the entire world is fighting against coronavirus, the US cruel sanctions against Iran should be removed.
The Iranian vice-president said that the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) wants to have access to the country’s revenues to manage the battle against coronavirus, and “you (the Americans) have deprived the Iranian nation of its most important source of revenue which is oil and do not allow other countries to purchase crude from Iran”.
The Iranian health ministry announced on Tuesday that 2,089 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified in the country, increasing the total number to 62,589 patients.
“2,089 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country since yesterday based on confirmed diagnosis criteria,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Tuesday.
He added that the number of coronavirus patients in Iran has increased to 62,589, adding that 3,872 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, 133 of them in the past 24 hours.
Jahanpour, meantime, said that the recovery of patients has accelerated in Iran and 27,039 infected people have been treated and dismissed from hospital.
He noted that 211,136 coronavirus diagnosis tests have been carried out in the country so far, adding that 3,987 patients infected with COVID-19 virus are in critical conditions.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 82,100 people and infected over 1.43 million others globally.
The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.
As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and most universities have been extended until late April.
The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s North, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced last month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.
Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.
He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.
Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.
He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.
According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached over 90 across the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran’s response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.
The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.
The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.