Iran supreme leader approves tapping sovereign wealth fund to fight coronavirus

Clay Curtis
April 7, 2020

"Just because Iran has managed the crisis badly, that does not make its humanitarian needs and our security ones any the less".

Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump exited a 2015 worldwide agreement between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. The European signatories include former prime ministers, foreign ministers, ambassadors and secretary generals of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

He added that two-thirds of Iranian government employees will work from their offices starting next weekend, adding that the easing of anti-coronavirus measures does not conflict with the country's health advisories. In a rare comment in Britain's Guardian newspaper, Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi said U.S. sanctions were crippling Iran's fight against the coronavirus. State Department officials have defended the measures by noting humanitarian and medical aid is exempt.

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The call comes as the world struggles with a rapidly spreading virus pandemic which has so far infected over 1.3 million people around the globe, killing over 73,000.

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"Undisputed fact: USA "diplomats" have always been in the business of coups, arming terrorists, fueling sectarian violence, supporting narcotics cartels, bullying governments & companies, spying on even U.S. allies, flirting with dictators, butchers and terrorists, etc...", Abbas Mousavi said in a message posted on his Twitter account late on Saturday. "Despite humanitarian exemptions provided under United States and worldwide law, these sanctions make the importation of medicine, medical equipment and raw materials needed to produce these goods domestically slower, more expensive, and complicated".

"We must remember that an outbreak anywhere impacts people everywhere", the statement says.

State Department officials have said Iran has repeatedly rejected offers of USA assistance during the pandemic, though they have provided no details of what was offered and under what conditions.

Iranians are facing "one of their country's darkest times in living memory" the group says.

The signatories include Wendy Sherman, a former senior State Department official, and Federica Mogherini, the former foreign policy chief for the European Union.

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