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April 6, 2020 7:26 am

Iran Will Never Ask US for Coronavirus Help: Tehran Regime Official

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A Basij volunteer wearing a protective suit and face mask sprays disinfectant as he sanitizes a bus station, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tehran, Iran, April 3, 2020. Photo: WANA (West Asia News Agency) / Ali Khara via Reuters.

Iran will never ask the United States for help in the fight against the new coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected offers from Washington for humanitarian assistance for Iran, the Middle Eastern country so far worst-affected by the coronavirus, with 3,739 deaths and 60,500 people infected according to the latest figures on Monday.

Iran has never asked and will not ask America to help Tehran in its fight against the outbreak … But America should lift all its illegal unilateral sanctions on Iran,” Mousavi said in a televised news conference.

Tensions between the two countries have been running high since 2018, when US President Donald Trump quit a 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program. Washington reimposed sanctions which have crippled the Iranian economy.

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Iranian authorities say US sanctions have hampered their efforts to curb the outbreak, urging other countries and the United Nations to call on the United States to lift them.

“They (the US) are trying to force Tehran to accept negotiations with America,” Mousavi said.

Trump says the nuclear deal was not strong enough and wants to apply “maximum pressure” on Iran to accept tougher curbs to its nuclear program, halt its ballistic missile work and end its support for proxy forces in the Middle East. 

Iran has long said it will not negotiate unless Washington lifts sanctions.

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