A senior Iranian on Sunday called U.S. President Donald Trump “more dangerous than coronavirus,” saying moves to block an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan reaching Iran was tantamount to crimes against humanity.
Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, accused the American government of opposing efforts by the IMF to assist Iran during the pandemic.
“The sanction on health items is an illegal and inhumane act and a symbol of Trump’s open hostility to the Iranian people,” Shamkhani wrote in a tweet on Sunday.
“The US opposition to granting facilities to Iran by the International Monetary Fund to meet the required medical items to fight against the coronavirus is a real example of crimes against humanity.”
The sanction of health items is an illegal & inhumane act & a symbol of #Trump's open hostility to the Iranian people.
US opposition to granting #Iran's requested facilities from @IMF to provide items needed to deal with #CoronaVirus is a real case of crimes against humanity.
— علی شمخانی (@alishamkhani_ir) April 5, 2020
“Trump is more dangerous than coronavirus,” Shamkhani added later, Tasnim news agency reported.
Tensions between the two countries have been running high since 2018, when Trump quit a 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program. Washington reimposed sanctions which have crippled the Iranian economy.
Washington has refused to lift those same sanctions on Iran and Trump has maintained the best way to deal with the Islamic republic is through the strong enforcement of economic isolation.
Iran had applied for a $5 billion loan from the IMF last month as it announced the first tranche of an emergency loan package to developing countries to help them overcome the economic consequences of the global pandemic.
As Breitbart News reported, last month a U.S. offer to help Iran fight the Chinese coronavirus pandemic as dismissed as “strange” by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
He cited an unfounded conspiracy theory that the virus was made by America as reason for his antipathy towards the offer.
Instead the 80-year-old Khamenei chose to traffic in the same propaganda increasingly used by Chinese officials about the epidemic to deflect blame for its origins, as Breitbart News reported.
“Possibly your (offered) medicine is a way to spread the virus more,” Khamenei said, in comments carried by the official IRNA agency. “Or if you send therapists and doctors, maybe he wants to see the effect of the poison, since it is said that part of the virus is built for Iran.”
“Our number one enemy is America. It is the most wicked, sinister enemy of Iran … its leaders are terrorists … Liars and charlatans.”
Iran is the Middle Eastern country so far most affected by the coronavirus, with 3,603 deaths and 58,226 people infected.