Wednesday, 25 March, 2020

Iran refutes Washington’s ‘conspiracy theory’ claim on US role in virus spread

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has bluntly refuted claims by US State Department that the Islamic Republic is fostering conspiracy theories by highlighting the role of the United States in the global spread of the deadly new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

On Sunday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addressed the Iranian nation through a televised speech in which he described the US as “the most evil enemy of the Iranian nation.”

The Leader pointed to allegations by US President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to the effect that Washington is ready to help Iran in its fight against an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus, saying, “”Firstly, you have a shortage yourself and this is what American officials say. Secondly, you are accused of producing the virus. I do not know how true this accusation is, but when such an accusation is made, which wise person will ask for your help?”

On Monday, US State Department’s spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, claimed in a tweet that what Iran said about the possible role of the United States in developing and spreading the virus across the world were nothing but “conspiracy theories.”

In a tweet later the same day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry reaffirmed the country’s position on the US role in coronavirus pandemic, highlighting a recent article from Global Research in which ten questions were posed about inadequacy and insufficiency of the US government’s response to virus outbreak on its soil.

“If @StateDept claims the mounting global questions about US role in #COVID19 pandemic are mere ‘Iran-made conspiracy theories’, then US must answer some of these questions asked by the Global Research,” said the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s tweet.

The article also underlined measures taken by the US administration, which have been seen by analysts as being aimed at relieving the US of its international obligations with regard to production of microbial and biological weapons.

“Why did the US withdraw from the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 2001? Why did it try to prevent a monitoring mechanism for the execution of the Convention? Is it standing in the way of developing biological weapon for the US?” it asked.

The article went on to note that the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, located on Fort Detrick, Maryland, was shut down in July 2019, asking, “Was it because there was a virus leakage incident?”

Earlier on Monday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the US offer to help Iran in its fight against the coronavirus is “one of the biggest lies in history” where American sanctions are hindering Tehran’s access to medical supplies.

Rouhani said American leaders are lying when they claim that they want to help Iran, adding that all they need to do is to lift the sanctions. “Then we can deal with the coronavirus outbreak,” he added.

Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Monday that the number of coronavirus deaths had increased to 1,812 and the total infections to 23,049 during the past 24 hours.

“There have been 127 new deaths and 1,411 new infections since Sunday,” he said.

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