Iranian envoy blasts West media for hyping Iranian health official's remarks on China's virus figures
By Xie Wenting Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/8 19:39:26
The Iranian Ambassador to China stressed the long-standing bilateral relationship and trust between Iran and China and blasted Western media outlets for smearing the relations by hyping Iranian health official's remarks on China's coronavirus figures.
Ambassador Mohammad Keshavarzzadeh told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that "the official and thus the genuine position of the Iranian government is exercised through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
President Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs, have been expressing their strong support for China's management in the battle against the epidemic, he said.
Mohammad's remarks came after media reported on Monday that Iran's health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said China's official figures on the coronavirus outbreak was a "bitter joke." AFP reported on Tuesday that an AIDS expert in Iran also questioned China's coronavirus toll.
"It is expected that the wheat should be separated from the chaff in this context," the diplomat said.
"I won't let in my capacity as ambassador the hard-won and long-lasting friendship and trust between us be overshadowed or impaired by any trivial points," he stressed.
Responding to questions related to the credibility of how China released its coronavirus figures, the ambassador told the Global Times that they have benefited from first-hand information disseminated regularly and on the timely manner by relevant Chinese authorities.
"In my opinion this truly demonstrates our trust in the efforts and difficult job carried out to contain the [virus] spread [by China]."
From our perspective, it is incumbent upon all countries to not allow that transparency as one of overarching characteristics of good governance be "politicized and perverted to secure illegitimate and hegemonic interests by some countries. Unfortunately, this is something happening," he noted.
While the negative comments by the health official made international headlines, the ambassador told the Global Times that "any kind of media maneuvering aimed at smearing the sound relationship between Iran and China should be regarded as worthless."
"It has not been overlooked that some countries are using the pandemic as a pretext to continue exerting their futile efforts to damage the relationship between Iran and China by distorting facts or making a mountain out of a molehill," he said.
He blasted these Western media for being reluctant to report the mutual assistance offered by the two countries' governments and people, which shows the spirit of solidarity and global cooperation.
During the interview, the ambassador praised China's efforts to combat the virus which he said contributed to the people's health abroad.
He restated one of the statements from the Iranian Foreign Ministry, which said "The government and people of China lead the way in suppressing the coronavirus and generously aids countries across the globe. The Chinese bravery, dedication and professionalism in COVID19 containment deserve acknowledgment. Iran has always been thankful to China in these trying times."
Iran was the first destination for Chinese medical teams sent abroad. The medical team to Iran returned to China recently. The ambassador said the first medical team "proves indisputably that Iran is regarded highly in the foreign policy of China."
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