Apr 07, 2020 05:58 UTC
  • Iranian model for fighting pandemic based on domestic initiatives: Security chief

The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says the model used by the country to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic should be based on exclusive and domestic initiatives, noting that Iranians have learned how to weather critical conditions.

“The Iranian model for fighting coronavirus must be based on exclusive and domestic initiatives,” Ali Shamkhani said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday.

Warning about the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Shamkhani said, “The economic consequences of coronavirus are severe,” adding, however, that “doctors and laborers” form the two main pillars of the strategy that would help the country go through this crisis.

Iran's security chief also warned about efforts made to create a dichotomy between continuing economic activities under the conditions that the country’s economy is hit hard by unilateral US sanctions, and taking healthcare measures to put a brake on the virus spread, which requires temporary shutdown of many businesses.

“The false ‘economy-health’ duality should not [be allowed] to bring us to a halt,” Shamkhani said, adding, “We have acquired the art of living under conditions of crisis since many years ago.”

The United States reinstated its sanctions against Iran in May 2018 after leaving a United Nations-endorsed nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and five other major powers -- the UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany.

Since then, Washington has corded other countries to follow suit and mount pressure on Iran or face punishment.

The United States has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and even tightened them several times in recent weeks, making it almost impossible for the Islamic Republic to access life-saving medications and medical equipment necessary in the fight against the deadly new coronavirus pandemic.

Iran says the unilateral US sanctions have seriously hampered its fight against the pandemic.

Presenting the latest update on Monday, Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour reported 2,274 new infections and 136 more deaths from the virus over the past 24 hours.

In total, 60,500 Iranians have tested positive for COVID-19 while 3,739 have died, he pointed out, adding that 24,236 patients have fully recovered so far.

In a Sunday Twitter post, Shamkhani said the efforts made by the administration of US President Donald Trump to block Iran's access to financial and other resources it needs to contain COVID-19 pandemic amount to crime against humanity.

“Imposing sanctions [on importation of] hygiene items is an illegal measure against human rights and [a sign of] Trump's clear animosity toward the Iranian nation,” the senior Iranian security official said.