Tehran slams Washington’s fake offer of help against coronavirus

February 29, 2020 - 15:43

TEHRAN — Tehran has denounced Washington’s false expression of readiness to assist Iran in the fight against coronavirus outbreak as a “ridiculous” and “hypocritical” move and part of a political and psychological game.

In a statement on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi responded to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim about helping Iran in the battle with the infectious disease, which has been hugely publicized in the media and has been widely advertised before informing Iran.

Mousavi slammed Pompoe’s claim as a propagandistic and hypocritical move that has been made with political objectives with the purpose of deceiving the world public opinion, the Foreign Ministry website reported.

“The claim of helping Iran in the fight against coronavirus, made by a country that has exerted massive pressures on the Iranian people with its economic terrorism and has even blocked the (Iranian) purchase of medicine and medical equipment, is a ridiculous claim and a political-psychological game,” Mousavi added.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in close contact with many countries in order to satisfy the country’s pharmaceutical and health demands and to combat the coronavirus, and so far a considerable part of the country’s critical needs, including 100,000 (COVID-19) diagnostic kits, surgery masks, medical ventilators, etc. have been supplied from the friendly countries, and other consignments are also on the way which will be publicized in due time,” he noted.

The fight against coronavirus, which has now become a pandemic and has engulfed many countries, requires a global resolve and widespread international cooperation, not theatrical moves that are made with political purposes and the abuse of the suffering and pains of the patients and those hurt, the spokesperson added.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced in a statement on Thursday that the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) is fully operational.

“The SHTA will further facilitate the flow of humanitarian goods to the Iranian people,” the statement said.

“The SHTA is the first operational channel established under the framework announced by the U.S. Department of State and the Treasury in October 2019 to facilitate humanitarian trade with Iran. Initial transactions were successfully conducted in late January 2020 to demonstrate the viability and effectiveness of the SHTA.”

According to the U.S. Treasury, while the United States maintains broad exceptions and authorizations for the conduct of humanitarian trade with Iran, the SHTA presents a voluntary option for facilitating payment for exports of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran in a manner that ensures the upmost transparency.

“Companies within Swiss jurisdiction may reach out to Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) at SHTA@seco.admin.ch for further details on requirements and instructions for participating in the SHTA. This includes entities that are owned or controlled by U.S. and third-country persons and domiciled in Switzerland. Parties may continue to avail themselves of existing exceptions and authorizations to conduct humanitarian trade with Iran outside of the humanitarian channel.”

Earlier this month, Deputy Health Minister Karim Hemmati said the SHTA will not remove the impact of unfair U.S. sanctions on the import of medicine by Iran, as it is not capable of carrying money in large scale.

The Ministry of Health welcomes every mechanism that eases supply of medicine and medical equipment using all the available capacities to patients, especially those with cancer and rare diseases, Hemmati said.

However, the financial mechanism launched recently by Switzerland cannot solve the problem of supplying necessary medicines and transferring money to purchase them, he lamented.

MH/PA

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