Accessibility links

Breaking News

In Long Letter To Americans Iran's Rouhani Blames Sanctions For Coronavirus Deaths

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the Iranian New Year Nowruz, in Tehran, Iran March 20, 2020.

In a rhetorical, discursive letter addressed to the people of the United States, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani has lamented that the victims of the sanctions Washington imposed on Tehran are not the country's political camps, but the ordinary people.

Commemorating the new Persian year (Nowruz, beginning March 20), the mid-ranking cleric has called on American people to urge the U.S. Congress and the White House to repeal the sanctions.

"In the name of justice and humanity, I address your conscience and Godly souls and call upon you to make your Administration and Congress see that the path of sanctions and pressure has never been successful and will never be so in the future. It is human discourse and action that produce results," Rouhani has noted, implicitly accusing Washington of warmongering. "The Iranian people…will repel this virus as well as the sanctions born of the callous policy of maximum pressure and will endure once again with resilience and pride."

Rouhani has claimed that U.S. sanctions have targeted the people. "Following its illegal withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the U.S. Government has implemented more than one hundred collective punishment measures against the Iranian people, specifically targeting Iran's principal economic and financial sectors, and inflicting damages amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran's economy and the Iranian people.," Rouhani said.

Some Iranians criticized Rouhani’s rambling letter, arguing that it is mostly sermonizing and ineffective in terms of getting the attention of ordinary Americans.

President Donald Trump opposed the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal on the grounds that on the long-run it will not stop from acquiring nuclear weapons and it does not address Tehran’s behavior of supporting militant groups throughout the Middle East. He also argued that Iran’s missile program is a danger to all its neighbors.

Ultimately, Washington saw no benefit in the JCPOA and withdrew the agreement, instituting a campaign of pressure to force Iran to negotiate a new and a broader agreement.

Since, the Trump administration has offered talks without pre-conditions and has promised assistance to Iran if agreement can be reached.

The offer has been categorically rejected by the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Talking to the U.S.A is a lethal poison (for Iran), talking to the Trump administration is twice more deadly," Khamenei has stressed.

In the meantime, in his letter to the people of America, Rouhani has once again accused Washington of restricting Tehran's efforts to contain the novel coronavirus and its related disease, Covid-19, that has killed more than 1,500 and infected 20,000 across Iran.

However, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday, March 20, "The whole world should know that humanitarian assistance to Iran is wide open, it's not sanctioned."

Earlier, Washington had offered help to contain the deadly virus in Iran, but the Islamic Republic authorities rejected it.