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Zarif Calls US Offer Of Coronavirus Help To Iran 'Hypocritical'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on the 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at the State Department in Washington, March 11, 2020

The Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed Washington's offer to help Tehran contain the deadly novel coronavirus as "hypocritical," maintaining that Tehran has enough friends across the world, and the only thing the U.S. should do is not impede the flow of assistance to Iran.

Speaking to the Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, Zarif reiterated, "We will take care of ourselves and have enough friends to contribute to Iran's relentless campaign against the pandemic”, advising the U.S. to "stop economic terrorism."

Meanwhile, without any elaboration, Zarif warned Washington, "If you are not ready to do so, we will urge the world to stop this bullying."

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

Speaking in Washington at House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, March 11, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had also asserted Iran sanctions do not prohibit humanitarian contributions to ease coronavirus pressure on Iran.

Nevertheless, Zarif once again lamented that due to the U.S. sanctions, European manufacturers of medical equipment do not maintain trade with Iran.

"It makes no difference for banking restrictions whether you want to buy humanitarian goods or not", Zarif told Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.

Several social media users also have circulated images showing that the online service, Gofundme, does not allow money collection for Iran.

In the meantime, many critics and analysts insist that the main cause of failure in challenging the novel coronavirus in Iran is the mismanagement of the clergy-dominated country.

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Affairs Brian Hook says the Islamic Republic of Iran has lied to its own people about the outbreak in that country.

Hook also regretted that Tehran had rejected Washington's offer of extending relief aide to Iran.

Iran spends billions of dollars to assist terrorist groups; Hook has argued, while it could have paid for strengthening Iran's medical sector.

In an Iranian new year message on March 20 addressed to the people of America, President Hassan Rouhani called on them to exert pressure on the U.S. Congress and the White House to cancel the sanctions imposed on Tehran.

As the remaining members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran nuclear deal with world powers, only China and Russia have so far called on the U.S. to lift the sanctions amidst the deadly outbreak of the novel coronavirus.