We’re all in the same boat regarding coronavirus, says Zarif

April 25, 2020 - 17:49

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has wished a healthy and blessed Ramadan to All Muslims, advising the world to unite in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“#Ramadan is for Muslims a special time for prayer & reflection,” Zarif said via Twitter.

“This year, the #COVID19 pandemic has shown that we need to reflect more on how ALL of us in the human community are in same boat, and on the same journey,” he said.

“Wishing all Muslims a healthy, safe, and blessed Ramadan,” he added.

It comes as Muslims are gearing up for a very different Ramadan due to the spread of the COVID-19. 

Lockdowns prevail across Europe and everyone is trying to find ways to reach out to one another while practicing physical distancing.

The office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared Saturday as the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In a statement on Friday, the Leader’s office announced that the new crescent moon of Ramadan could not be sighted on Thursday night in Iran, according to Press TV.

Therefore, the statement said, the new lunar month of Ramadan will begin on Saturday, when Muslim people start fasting.

While Iran, Iraq and Oman, among others, have declared Saturday as the first day of Ramadan, countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Malaysia, Egypt, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia have announced Friday the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

This year, Muslims around the world are starting to mark Ramadan under the coronavirus lockdown with unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers.

The holy daytime fasting month will be a somber affair for many across Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Widespread rules have been imposed banning praying in mosques or meeting relatives and friends for large "iftar" meals at dusk.

Iran was initially among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But Western countries soon overtook Iran due to the virus’s exponential growth in the West, as opposed to its linear growth in Iran.

However, the United States’ illegal sanctions – which were put in place after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal – have been described as one of the greatest obstacles impeding Iran’s full containment of the deadly disease.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on April 13 that Iran has made significant progress in fighting the coronavirus outbreak in spite of the United States’ sanctions.

“#Covid19 was opportunity for US to kick its addiction to sanctions. Instead, it will now live in infamy in the memory of our people,” he added.

MH/PA

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