In a televised speech, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the United States offer to help Iran fight the Coronavirus pandemic was ‘strange’. In his address to the Iranian public on March 22, Khamenei also described US leaders as ‘charlatans’.
Iran has been the hardest hit by the Coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East and has reported over 1,500 Coronavirus deaths and more than 20,000 infected cases.
According to international news reports, Khamenei has said that the US has offered to help several times but they have also been accused of creating the Coronavirus. While the Supreme Leader does not know if it is true or not but finds it really 'strange' that they were offering Iran help. Khamenei added that this was because the Americans themselves were facing shortages in their fight against the Coronavirus. He also speculated that the US could possibly give them a drug that would keep the Coronavirus in their country forever.
In his speech, Khamenei added that Iran had the capacity to overcome any challenge that was put before it, including the deadly Coronavirus outbreak.
Tensions between Iran and the United States have been running high ever since Trump exited Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy. Tensions were further exasperated when Trump ordered a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3. Iran had further retaliated by hitting Iraqi military bases that housed American troops on January 8.
Earlier a Chinese official tweeted that perhaps it was the United States that had actually brought the virus to Wuhan in China. He further added in his tweet that the US owed the world an explanation and that it should release its data.
The novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 13,069 lives across the world and has infected over 308,463 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. The United States has reported over 26,000 cases and almost 400 Coronavirus deaths.
(With Agency inputs)