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Iranian President: Collective Measures Needed to Save Human Lives amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Rouhani made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday.

The Iranian president said the US administration has intensified its cruel measures and sanctions against the Iranian people even under the current difficult conditions caused by the virus outbreak.

He said world countries should condemn such inhuman US measures and urge Washington to abide by UN regulations and respect human norms.

“Tunisia, as a non-permanent member of the [UN] Security Council, is duty-bound to take steps in line with the international community’s resistance against cruel and inhuman sanctions,” the Iranian president added.

He noted that all countries and nations should unite to battle the new coronavirus outbreak, which has turned into an international woe, stressing the importance of adopting joint measures and strengthening cooperation across the globe to save human lives and contain the disease.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Rouhani described the US offer to help Iran fight against the coronavirus epidemic as a big lie as the harshest sanctions against the country are still in place, saying that Tehran does not want Washington’s “glass of muddy water”.

“We are not in a normal economic situation; sanctions that are cruel, illegal and a terrorist action have been imposed by the US on the Iranian people, and unfortunately many problems have been posed to us,” Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

“Americans’ saying we are ready to help Iran through the hardships of coronavirus is one of the great lies of history, as if someone who has blocked the source of the spring and does not let anyone go to the clear spring, brings a glass of muddy water to offer, saying that he has come to help, since he knows we’re thirsty,” he added.

President Rouhani addressed Washington, saying, “If you want to help, get your boots out of the way; you have blocked the origin, you have troubled our crude sales; you have troubled our banking system for food, for raw materials and for employment; part of the unemployment is because of America, part of the hard life of the people is because of America, part of the lack of working capital for factories is because of America, lack of some medicines is because of America, not having a job and living in a state of extreme crisis for some people is because of America.”

“The Americans, who are in charge of the biggest crimes in the region and committed crimes in Iran and terrorism in the true sense of the word, and when their thoughts and underpinnings of their misconduct and terrorism have become more apparent to the world, say we are ready to help in combatting coronavirus. This is the same glass of muddy water, but they do not say that they blocked the main springs on this nation,” he said.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 180 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 16,500 people and infected over 381,000 others globally.

Iran reported on Monday that a total number of 1,812 coronavirus patients have died and 23,049 cases of infection have been identified in the country so far. Meanwhile, 8,376 people have also recovered.

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 universities have been extended for the next two weeks.

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 earlier this 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.

Namaki said that the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 22, and will increase to 40 soon.

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.

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