Iran’s Supreme Leader has slammed the U.S. offer of “help” with the coronavirus outbreak in the country, questioning Washington’s real intentions.
In a televised address on March 22, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the offer of help is weird. The Supreme leader also criticized Washington’s management of the pandemic, touching on speculations that the virus was developed by the U.S. itself.
“Americans have said several times that ‘we are ready to help with treatment and medicine; just ask us and we will help’. This is one of the weirdest things which they tell us to ask them,” the Leader said, adding “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?”
The Supreme Leader went on to call U.S. officials “mendacious, deceitful, shameless and greedy,” describing them as “all kinds of charlatans who speak like charlatans.”
Iran is witnessing a widespread of the coronavirus with more than 21,000 reported cases. The deadly virus has claimed the lives of 1,683 Iranians, so far.
The U.S. offer to “help” Iran with the pandemic appears to be a propaganda move. While Washington was offering its “help,” it was actively increasing sanctions on the Islamic country.
Earlier this week, the U.S. sanctioned nine entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong and China, as well as three Iranian individuals, for engaging in “significant transactions” to trade in Iran’s petrochemicals. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will maintain its maximum-pressure campaign to choke off Tehran’s ability to export its oil.
These measures show that the U.S. maybe trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran by employing the disaster in its “maximum pressure” campaign.