Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has hailed Iranian nurses for their sacrifices in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic amid the most draconian sanctions.
US sanctions have prevented Iran from getting necessary medicine and equipment to fight against the virus, forcing the country to resort to its own means to tackle the problem.
Ayatollah Khamenei said on Sunday the arrogant powers’ joy at the suffering of the Iranian people has been manifested in events such as helping former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gas Iranian troops and border towns and imposing a “medical embargo on the Iranian nation”.
“Given these facts, when nurses, with effort and self-sacrifice, put a smile on the lips of patients and their loved ones, they are in fact struggling against the malicious world of arrogance. This is the double value of the nursing community in the Islamic Iran,” the Leader said.
The coronavirus pandemic, however, “showed that if the nursing community is not strengthened, we will be hit hard”, Ayatollah Khamenei added.
Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from US sanctions imposed on Tehran in 2018 after President Donald Trump walked away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
But the US measures, which target all sectors including oil and financial activities, have deterred foreign banks from processing financial transactions with Iran. Tehran says this has frequently disrupted efforts to import essential medicines and other humanitarian items.
The Leader made the remarks in a meeting with a group of Iranian nurses and families of health workers fallen in the line of duty in the fight against COVID-19 on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of Sayyida Zainab (SA), the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon Him), and National Nurses Day.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the nature of nursing – that is observing the suffering of patients and caring for them around the clock – is bitter and harsh.
“In some junctures, such as the period of the Sacred Defense or the coronavirus, these difficulties have multiplied,” he said, referring to Saddam’s 1980-1988 war on Iran.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the sacrifices of the Iranian nurses merit to be recorded through art.
“With regard to narrating the difficulties of the work of nurses, we have a dearth of artistic production. These have artistic themes or in the language of art, they have dramatic themes. They can be used to make attractive art programs. Artists should come to the arena,” he said.
“You should recount the truths of your society, your country and your revolution. If you do not recount them, the enemy will do that. If you do not chronicle the revolution, the enemy will do it. If you do not narrate the incident of the Sacred Defense, the enemy will do it in whatever way it likes, making its own justification to tell lies and change the place of the oppressor and the oppressed.”
The Leader also paid tribute to women, saying they can be “a huge ocean of patience” and the “pinnacle of wisdom and prudence” at the same time.
Sayyida Zainab, he said, was able to show the great spiritual and intellectual capacity of women to the world.
“Sayyida Zainab, peace be upon her, showed two points: First, a woman can be a huge ocean of patience and second, a woman can be the pinnacle of wisdom and prudence.”