US sanctions worsening COVID-19 situation in Iran: Health Minister

Tasnim – Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said the US should be held accountable for the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Islamic Republic.

“The criminal US” which has imposed the worst, cruelest, and most unfair sanctions on Iran is to blame for the worsening situation in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Namaki said on Wednesday.

He further warned the escalation of economic woes and loss of livelihoods under the pressure of poverty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak could bring about public dissatisfaction, saying that the Health Ministry was obligated to stop opposing the reopening of businesses when the government is unable to provide financial support for a booth owner, a taxi driver, or a shopkeeper.

Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday that 153 patients had died of the novel coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, increasing the overall death toll to 12,084.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly announced that his administration is engaged in a battle on two fronts at the same time, dealing with the cruel foreign sanctions and addressing the coronavirus and its economic consequences.