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COVID-19: Iran Deaths Jump To 1,812

03/23/20

Source: RFE/RL

Iran has again rejected the United States' offer of humanitarian assistance, with President Hassan Rohani saying that Washington should lift sanctions if it wants to help Tehran fight the coronavirus outbreak. "American leaders are lying.... If they want to help Iran, all they need to do is to lift sanctions.... Then we can deal with the coronavirus outbreak," Rohani said in a televised speech on March 23.


A coronavirus awareness mural at a street corner in Tehran: "Be Afraid"
Official Iran's statistics on coronavirus as of March 23
Infections: 23,049
Deaths: 1,812
New Cases: 1,411
Recovered: 8,376

Iran is the Middle Eastern nation worst hit by the coronavirus.

The Health Ministry announced on March 23 that another 127 Iranians had died from the virus, bring the death toll to 1,812, with more than 23,000 confirmed cases, an increase of over 1,400 cases from the previous day.

Washington has offered humanitarian assistance to its longtime foe. But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected the offer on March 22.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have been running high since 2018, when President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal Tehran reached with six world powers in 2015 and reimposed sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

Iranian authorities have blamed U.S. sanctions for hampering its efforts to curb the outbreak.

"You have blocked Iran's oil exports, you have stopped Iran's banking transactions.... Your offer of help is the biggest lie in history," Rohani said.

The United States has said the spread of the coronavirus will not save Iran from U.S. sanctions that are curbing its oil revenues and putting huge pressure on its economy.



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