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People's Daily Online

Iran receives more int'l aid over COVID-19, criticizing U.S. for sanctions

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:45, March 05, 2020

TEHRAN, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Iran announced on Wednesday that the international community has contributed its aid to the country's health efforts over novel coronavirus, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday.

Iranian Foreign Ministry has already sent a list of Iran's medical needs to the United Nations, its relevant bodies and to the Iranian missions abroad, the ministry's spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, adding that accordingly a large consignment was shipped to Iran from the World Health Organization.

In addition, the UNICEF, China, Turkey and Austria, as well as the European countries have contributed their medical supplies, said Mousavi.

A remarkable number of other countries are also considering the list of Iran's needs and are preparing to deliver their aid, the spokesman noted.

"The aid will complement the constant and effectual efforts made by Iran's administration and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education to control the situation," Mousavi said.

On Wednesday, official IRNA news agency reported that the first consignment of humanitarian aid from the French government was handed over to Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education earlier in the day.

The French authorities show their solidarity with the Iranian government and nation over the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Iran, Philippe Thiebaud, French ambassador to Tehran, told IRNA on the sideline of the ceremony held in capital Tehran.

The consignment includes items requested by the Iranian authorities like screening test equipment and kits, boots, protective clothing, and gloves for medical personnel, Thiebaud said.

The French envoy added that France, Germany and Britain will also send additional aid to Iran worth nearly five million euros (5.56 million U.S. dollars) through the WHO and other UN agencies.

In the meantime, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday slammed the U.S. sanctions against the country, saying that if the United States really wants to help Iran in fighting against novel coronavirus, it should lift sanctions against Iran including the bans on the imports of medical supplies, state TV reported.

"Washington has been taking the most sinister of actions against the Iranians over the past two years by reimposing sanctions on their supplies of food and medicine, and is now hiding behind a mask of sympathy claiming that it seeks to assist the Iranian nation," said Rouhani.

"If you are really telling the truth, you should at least lift your sanctions on medicine," Rouhani added.

Besides, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that "the conditions created by the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country have further laid bare the negative impacts of the U.S. illegal sanctions on the people of Iran, particularly on the vulnerable groups," Mousavi said.

Iran announced the first cases of COVID-19 in the central city of Qom on Feb. 19.

The Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education said Wednesday that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Iran has infected 2,922 people across the country, 92 of whom have died.

A total of 552 people have recovered and left hospital, said the ministry statement.

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