BERLIN — US sanctions have not stopped Tehran from combating the coronavirus pandemic, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated at an economic cabinet meeting over the weekend.
Rouhani’s comments contradict the narrative that his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has delivered to Western audiences in the hope of securing sanctions relief, including claims the US is waging “medical terrorism” against Iran.
Radio Farda termed Zarif’s efforts a “weeks-long propaganda campaign in the press and social media targeting the United States and Europe about the adverse impact of the sanctions on Iran’s ability to confront the outbreak.”
However, Rouhani said “Iran has no problem in providing foreign currency until the end of the [Iranian] year,” in March 2021.
The Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Rouhani also said “we will have no problem” with regard to medical and pharmaceutical demands.
According to IRNA, Rouhani said on the topic of health care that ”most of the requirements are being supplied domestically.”
“He noted that other products like face-masks and disinfectants are produced domestically,” wrote IRNA.
Critics of Tehran’s campaign to win sanctions relief state that Iran’s clerical regime can already receive humanitarian and medical aid via two channels: the Swiss-run humanitarian corridor and the EU0operated Instex program.
IRNA wrote that “Part of Iran’s assets which had been frozen in some countries due to the US pressure will be possibly released thanks to the efforts made by” the foreign ministry and central bank of Iran.
The US government imposed sanctions on Iran’s regime for its nuclear program, international terrorism and ballistic missiles apparatus.