BERLIN – The Islamic Republic of Iran's health minister, Saeid Namaki, announced on Monday that the country is not experiencing a shortage of special drugs in the fight against the coronavirus. Namaki said that, "although it is hard to fight the coronavirus under sanctions, since the beginning [of the outbreak] we have not faced a shortage of special drugs needed to treat this disease."
The pro-Islamic Republic network Tasnim News first reported Namaki's comments, delivering a blow to advocates of lifting US sanctions against Iran's regime for medical reasons. There is currently a Swiss-controlled humanitarian and medical channel to Iran that has been operating since February. The US has sanctioned Tehran due to violations of its nuclear program, terrorism and its ballistic missiles apparatus.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: "Startling revelation by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani that the regime's concerted effort to lift U.S. sanctions isn't about fighting the pandemic. It's about cash for the regime's leaders."
Startling revelation by #Iran's President @HassanRouhani that the regime's concerted effort to lift U.S. sanctions isn’t about fighting the pandemic. It's about cash for the regime’s leaders. pic.twitter.com/gyDFkgdYGI— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 28, 2020
Critics of Iran's rulers, including the US government, believe the mullah regime will use the sanctions relief funds to advance terrorism in the Middle East. America has classified the Iranian regime as the worst state-sponsor of terrorism.