‘They came with MASK of compassion’: Rouhani blasts Trump’s offer to battle Covid-19, tells US to lift sanctions first

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If Trump was genuine in offering help to virus-hit Iran, he should at the very least have lifted the sanctions on imports of drugs and food, Iran’s president has said, bashing US officials for wearing a “mask of compassion.”

“Those who even imposed drugs and food sanctions on people have done the most vicious act against the Iranian people in these two years,” President Hassan Rouhani stated on Wednesday.

He said that relief from economic sanctions would be more useful under the circumstances.

They came up with a mask of compassion pretending to help the Iranian people; you had better lift the drug sanctions at least

Rouhani didn’t name names, but his remarks came days after Donald Trump offered relief to Iran at the annual Conservative Political ActionConference (CPAC). “If we can help the Iranians with this problem, we are certainly willing to do so… All they have to do is ask. We will have great professionals over there,” he pledged, as cited by AFP. 

That message, conveyed through third-party diplomatic channels, seemed hypocritical to the eyes of Iran’s leadership, given Trump’s proven track record of anti-Iranian rhetoric and his “maximum pressure” policy. 

Iran has become a coronavirus hotspot, prompting the international community to suspend air links with the Islamic Republic and to escalate travel advisories for the country. On the other hand, France, Germany and the UK have voiced their “full solidarity” with Iran, sending in laboratory test equipment and protective body suits.

China, one of Iran’s main trading partners, sent personnel and an expert team from the Chinese Red Cross. “I have to thank all the governments and countries that have helped us and are ready to help us,” Rouhani commented.

Meanwhile, Iran’s health authorities said the Covid-19 has killed 92 people, while the number of confirmed cases had risen to 2,922, including members of the Iranian government.