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Iran Press TV

Iran slams Trump's 'hypocritical, repulsive' virus aid offer amid US 'medical terrorism'

Iran Press TV

Friday, 13 March 2020 7:54 AM

Iran slams a recent offer by US President Donald Trump to "assist" it to counter the coronavirus outbreak as a repulsive display of hypocrisy amid Washington's sanctions and medical terrorism targeting Tehran.

"Instead of hypocritical displays of compassion and repulsive bragging, you should end your economic and medical terrorism so that medicine and medical supplies can reach medical staff and the Iranian people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted on Friday.

On Thursday, Trump said that Iran is "facing a tremendous problem" and that US has offered to help the country. "We have the greatest doctors in the world," he said.

Reacting to Trump's remarks, Mousavi said Iran enjoys having "the best, bravest and most component medical staff in the world".

"We do not need American doctors," Mousavi said, adding Washington should instead care for its own people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mousavi's remarks come as many in the US have voiced concern over Trump's handling of the outbreak in the country.

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The World Health Organization on Wednesday described the outbreak as a pandemic.

Ministry reports 85 new deaths; 3,529 patients recover

According to the latest statistics released by Iran's Health Ministry, the new coronavirus has claimed another 85 lives, bringing to 514 the overall number of deaths in Iran.

"Sadly, 85 people infected with the COVID-19 disease have died in the past 24 hours," ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference on Friday.

"Across the country, at least 1,289 infected people have been added to the list of confirmed patients," said Jahanpour.

"The total number of patients has therefore reached 11,364 cases," he said, adding 3,529 patients have recovered so far.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said Iran's security forces will empty the streets of its cities in the next 24 hours in a drive to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.

"Our law enforcement and security committees, along with the interior ministry and provincial governors, will be clearing shops, streets and roads ... This will take place in the next 24 hours," he said Friday.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Washington's unilateral sanctions against Tehran have caused "serious impediments" in Iran's response to the outbreak.

In a letter to the UN secretary general, Zarif called for the unilateral and illegal US sanctions, which have greatly hampered Iran's fight against the coronavirus, to be lifted.

Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva Esmaeil Baqaei Hamaneh has also slammed the US sanctions as the main factor targeting the country's health sector's capabilities, urging the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) not to ignore this grave problem.

The US has imposed a series of sweeping sanctions targeting varying sectors of the Iranian economy ever since it withdrew from the Iran 2015 nuclear agreement in May 2018.

The bans deny Iran vital medical aid despite an October 2018 ruling by the International Court of Justice rejecting US sanctions on humanitarian supplies.

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