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Iran official: US sanctions to blame for outbreak, rapid spread of coronavirus

March 2, 2020 at 10:55 am

Emergency first responders wearing protective masks stand along a street in the Iranian capital Tehran on February 24, 2020. – [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]

US sanctions on Iran have led to the outbreak and rapid spread of the coronavirus in the Islamic Republic, President Hassan Rouhani’s adviser has said.

Hesamodin Ashena wrote on Twitter: “The economic sanctions, and Europe’s complicity, left Iran’s public health infrastructure underprepared to deal with coronavirus in a timely way.”

“Trump’s policies are partly responsible for shaping the spread of this virus, and the lives lost in the process,” he added.

On Saturday, the Iranian health ministry announced 205 new coronavirus infections bringing the total number of cases virus to 593 cases with the death toll reaching 54 people. This does not include 50 deaths in Qom, which the government has refuted.

Iran has the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths outside China; the epicenter of the coronavirus.

Now is the time for unity in the Middle East as coronavirus fears grip the region