‘We don’t take advice from ANY American politician’: Iran’s Zarif rejects Trump’s ventilator offer’, 19 Apr, 2020, RT.com
“Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has rebuffed an offer by US President Donald Trump to send ventilators to Iran, claiming that the Islamic Republic will be exporting its own devices “in a few months.”
Trump offered a number of the US’ “excess ventilators” to Iran during a press briefing on Saturday. “If they need ventilators, which they do, I would send them ventilators,” Trump said.
Though the offer was a humanitarian one on its surface, Trump followed it up with a characteristic flex on Iran. “Right now they just want to survive,” he said, adding “they’re loaded up with the plague.”
Trump’s gesture was one of several American overtures to Tehran since the outbreak of Covid-19. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in February that he offered to help Iran contain its coronavirus outbreak, claiming that the country’s health infrastructure couldn’t handle the pandemic. Iran was among the world’s worst-hit countries by the virus at the time, but when cases began to mount in the US a month later, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the American offer “strange,” and replied: “You are suffering from shortages… If you have anything, use it on yourselves.”
On the left sidebar: ‘Pompeo says ‘no sanctions’ prevent Covid-19 aid to Iran, as US blocks $5bn IMF loan & ignores calls to lift penalties’, 8 Apr, 2020, RT.com
“I’ve heard people talking about sanctions. The world should know there are no sanctions that prevent humanitarian assistance, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals from going to Iran,” Pompeo told reporters at a White House briefing on Wednesday, adding that the US offered to send aid but Iran refused.
Tehran has repeatedly slammed the US pressure campaign – which makes effectively impossible the bank transactions necessary to purchase vital supplies from overseas – deeming it a “historical disgrace” and “economic terrorism” that only complicates efforts to contain the fast-moving epidemic.” […]
“Some of Washington’s European allies have sidestepped US sanctions and sent medical supplies to Iran this week. Asked about this, US President Donald Trump said that the deliveries “don’t bother” him, but ruled out lifting or easing the sanctions.
The United Nations and other humanitarian bodies have repeatedly urged Washington to ease its sanctions amid the health crisis, with the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet warning they were “impeding medical efforts” and could lead to the “collapse” of Iran’s healthcare system.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)