Araghchi slams Dubowitz for cheering coronavirus spread in Iran

February 26, 2020 - 19:40

TEHRAN — Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has slammed Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), over cheering the spread of coronavirus in Iran.

“It's shameful and downright inhuman to cheer for a deadly Virus to spread - and enjoy seeing people suffer for it,” Araghchi tweeted on Wednesday.

“But at least @mdubowitz understands that the American economic sanctions were not -- and will not -- as effective as a Covid-19 Virus,” he added.

Araghchi made the comment after Dubowitz quoted part of a Bloomberg article which said “Coronavirus has done what American economic sanctions could not: shut down non-oil exports.”

In another tweet, Dubowitz also quoted an article by The Star which said, “Iran may have many more coronavirus cases than reported, upwards of 18,000, according to a preliminary analysis by Canadian researchers, suggesting an epidemic nearly 200 times larger than what the country has reported.”

Iran is one of the countries inflicted with the novel coronavirus, scientifically known as COVID-19.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said effective measures have been taken and comprehensive plans are underway to get rid of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Iran has put in place a set of contingency plans, including the temporary shutdown of schools, universities and cultural centers, to curb the coronavirus outbreak that by Tuesday afternoon had claimed at least fifteen lives in the country.

“With regard to the past experience, I say that we will defeat the coronavirus before long,” the minister said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the head of the Iranian Judiciary's High Council for Human Rights has said countries imposing sanctions on supply of medicine to Iran are “murderers of human beings” and lack qualification to be members of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Ali Baqeri made the remarks while addressing the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, where he described the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran as the “most recent grave and systematic violation of human rights.”

Emphasizing that “the Iranian nation is the major victim of such a violation,” Baqeri said, “The United States has created an international sanction regime which amounts to a systematic violation of human rights at an international level.”

On Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said like other viruses, including terrorism, coronavirus knows no borders, calling for more regional cooperation to combat it.

“Like other viruses - incl terrorism - #COVID19 knows no borders and doesn't distinguish between ethnicities or faiths,” Zarif said in a tweet.

“To combat it, neither should we,” he said, adding, “In line with #HOPE, Iran calls for more regional cooperation incl long overdue Joint Center for Disease Control & Prevention.”

MH/PA

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