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Even Friendly Countries Didn’t Help Iran Amidst The Pandemic

IRAN -- A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on August 26, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani meeting with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Tehran
IRAN -- A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on August 26, 2020 shows President Hassan Rouhani meeting with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Tehran

Referring to the United States sanctions imposed on Iran, President Hassan Rouhani lamented on Saturday that even friendly countries did not come to Iran's aid amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

"It may be painful hearing it for me, but in these seven difficult months of the coronavirus outbreak and the sanctions, no one came to our aid. The United States, which is evil beyond words, did not come forward saying that as far as the pandemic goes on, it would suspend the sanctions," Rouhani said, adding, "If Washington had a grain of intelligence, and thought about its history, it would have come forward and lifted the sanctions.”

Rouhani went further, criticizing unnamed allies of Iran for refusing to help the country, both under the sanctions and at the mercy of the deadly virus.

Rouhani expressed his dissatisfaction at a time when the United States has repeatedly offered to help Iran in its struggle against the coronavirus outbreak, but Iran has rejected it.

In March, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene, turned down U.S. efforts to help Iran fight against the pandemic, and denounced US leaders as "charlatans and liars."

However, according to official Iranian government reports, several countries, including Azerbaijan, Britain, France, Georgia, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan, have already sent tens of millions of dollars in financial and medical assistance to Iran.

The Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) also sent a medical team to Isfahan in April to help combat the outbreak. When they arrived, Iranian officials asked them to leave without explanation.

According to the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA), the MSF team had traveled to Iran "in full coordination with the Islamic Republic's Ministry of Intelligence" and that the group had brought equipment for a 48-bed field hospital, valued at over one million dollars.

At the same time, Iran had requested a $5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has not yet received a response.

According to Reuters, food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from the Iranian sanctions. Still, the additional trade bans have deterred several foreign banks from doing business with Iran, including financing humanitarian deals.

All Iranian oil customers, except China, have stopped publicly buying oil from the country,

Radio Farda's exclusive data provided by an international information company, Kpler, show that Iran has exported an average of 300,000 barrels of oil per day in the past eight months, three times more than Iran's oil exports to China.

Some of the cargo has allegedly been sent to China and then routed to other countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and even Syria.

During the past seven months, Rouhani has asserted, "We learned that we have to stand on our own two feet and do everything ourselves ... It was a massive and gigantic assignment."

Praising the people of Iran, Rouhani maintained, "The miracle of the Iranian nation is reflected in the fact that in the first three months [of the coronavirus outbreak] when many businesses were closed, the country's economic growth was negative 1.7."

Rouhani's claim about the negative growth of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2020 does not correspond with the data announced by the Statistics Center of Iran (SCI).

Based on the SCI data, the economic growth in the second quarter of 2020 was negative 3.5 percent, and only the economic development of the "non-oil sector" was negative 1.7 percent.

Rouhani also said that the country's production continued in the "best way" during the coronavirus era, “while the enemies wanted us to shut down Iran, and destroy the country."