Iran’s leaders have repeatedly refused outside offers to help everyday Iranians who are suffering from COVID-19, worsening the regime’s failed response to the outbreak.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the aid group also called Doctors Without Borders, said March 24 that Iran’s regime rejected previously agreed upon plans for a 50-bed treatment unit for COVID-19 patients in the hard-hit city of Isfahan.
“We are deeply surprised to learn that the approval for the deployment of our treatment unit has been revoked,” Michel Olivier Lacharité, MSF’s manager of emergency programs, said. An MSF team was in Iran and planned to start treating severely ill patients this week.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo says Iran’s leaders also have refused U.S. offers of assistance, while falsely claiming that U.S. sanctions block medical supplies from reaching the Iranian people.
The Iranian regime kicked out Doctors Without Borders @MSF, which was setting up a field hospital for Iran’s most vulnerable #coronavirus patients. The regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 25, 2020
“Instead of focusing on the needs of the Iranian people and accepting genuine offers of support, senior Iranians lied about the Wuhan virus outbreak for weeks,” Pompeo said March 17.
Iran is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East and has seen 1,934 deaths and 25,000 people infected as of March 24, according to Al-Monitor.
Iran’s regime has responded to the crisis with misinformation and mismanagement. The regime waited nine days after its first coronavirus death to acknowledge an outbreak. And leaders have suggested the virus was a U.S. biological attack, while arresting Iranians who provide accurate information for “spreading rumors.”
The regime’s Mahan Air flew dozens of round-trip flights to cities in China in February, despite a stated ban on flying to the country issued January 31.
Meanwhile, the news outlet Iran International says that multiple Iranian companies have been importing coronavirus test kits to Iran, countering regime officials’ claims that sanctions have blocked Iran from receiving needed test kits.
“These documents also show that several Iranian companies received orders to import coronavirus test kits from December 24 until late February,” Iran International says. “Arina Life Science, Fardad Azma Rad, Pishgam Biotechnology, and Viragene are among the companies that have been importing test kits into Iran.”
The United States has imposed sanctions to deny Iran’s regime revenue it would use to fund terrorism. But the United States maintains broad authorizations for the sale of food, medicine, and agricultural and medical products to Iran.
In cooperation with the Swiss government, the United States developed a channel to bypass the Iranian regime’s systemic corruption and financial mismanagement, ensuring that cancer drugs and other lifesaving medicines reach Iranian patients.