December 10, 2023

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Despite ‘sanctions virus’, Iran has handled pandemic better than U.S., Europe: Rouhani 

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that despite sanctions Iran has handled the coronavirus pandemic better than certain European countries and the United States.

“We had a sanctions virus, to which the coronavirus was added, but you did not have the sanctions virus. You have one virus while we have two viruses,” Rouhani said, according to Press TV. 

President Trump has said the U.S. has started “economic war” against Iran. He has acknowledged that his administration has enforced the “harshest ever” sanctions in history against Iran.

In line with his “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran, Trump has introduced a total ban on Iran’s oil export, the country’s main source of income. The oil embargo was intended to choke off the Iranian economy.

“We did better than you in the fight against the coronavirus,” Rouhani told a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus. 

In the struggle to contain the deadly disease, the Iranian people have also resisted well and assisted each other, the president remarked. 

“This is an honor for all, for all our loved ones and people. Yes, our situation is relatively good in the fight against the disease and the dangerous virus, and our situation is better in comparison with some countries.”

Iran has been among the countries hardest hit by the highly contagious virus.

Illegal U.S. sanctions have hampered an efficient struggle to suppress the virus in Iran.
The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in Iran has surpassed 71,000, of whom nearly 44,000 have fully recovered, the Health Ministry spokesperson said on Sunday.

Kianoosh Jahanpoor also said 117 coronavirus patients have died across the country since Saturday, bringing the death toll to 4,474.

Restrictions will apply on gatherings in fasting month of Ramadan 

Like all other countries Iran has introduced some restrictions to prevent a further outbreak of the disease.

Rouhani said religious gatherings would probably be cancelled during the holy fasting month of Ramadan due to the outbreak, noting that the national committee tasked to fight the coronavirus would decide on the issue in its upcoming meeting.

“During the month of Ramadan, people usually hold various events at mosques … reciting the Quran and praying. The final decision on this issue will be made in the next meeting,” he said.

Ramadan will begin in late this month and last through most of May, with Muslims fasting from dawn until sunset.

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