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Rouhani: Iran Won’t Accept US Offer for Humanitarian Assistance, It Should Rather Lift Sanctions If It Wants To Help
By Staff, Agencies
Washington should lift sanctions if it wants to help Iran to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, stressing that the Islamic Republic had no intention of accepting Washington's offer of humanitarian assistance.
"American leaders are lying ... If they want to help Iran, all they need to do is to lift sanctions .... Then we can deal with the coronavirus outbreak," Rouhani said in a televised speech.
Iran is the region’s worst-hit nation by coronavirus, with around 1,700 deaths, over 21,000 infected people and one person dying from the virus every 10 minutes, according to the health ministry.
American officials have refused to lift sanctions which are hampering Iran's efforts to contain the coronavirus. They have instead claimed readiness to aid Iranians, with US President Donald Trump saying "all they have to do is ask".
Iranian authorities have dismissed the offer as hypocritical, saying it makes no sense when Washington keeps on imposing new sanctions which have made Iran's access to food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies impossible.
Iranian authorities blamed US sanctions for hampering its efforts to curb the outbreak with Rouhani urging American nationals to call on their government to lift sanctions as Iran fights the coronavirus.
"You have blocked Iran's oil exports, you have stopped Iran's banking transactions... Your help offer is the biggest lie in the history," Rouhani said.
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