Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Porlamar, Venezuela, September 17, 2016 (Ariana Cubillos/AP)
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said US imperialism is “more dangerous” than Coronavirus.
Putting a priority on politics over the immediate health crisis, Rouhani made the statement in a a phone call with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday.
“Independent and freedom-seeking nations like Iran and Venezuela have always been under pressure as a result of the US statesmen’s excessive demands and bullying,” the Iranian President declared. “Iran and Venezuela have been successfully resisting the aggressive and old virus of the US for years through solidarity and expansion of cooperation.”
Rouhani did refer to the Government’s “Smart Social Distancing” plan, implemented on Saturday for all areas except the capital Tehran.
Businesses allowed to reopen include bookshops, clothes shops, and printing houses. High-risk businesses which remain closed include theaters, swimming pools, saunas, beauty salons, schools, shopping centers, and restaurants.
Iran’s official death toll reached 4,585 on Monday. There are now 3,303 confirmed cases, with 3,877 patients in critical condition.
Iranian authorities made a belated response to the crisis, with the Supreme Leader saying fear of the illness was a “Western plot”. News was suppressed before the February 21 Parliamentary elections, in the failed hope of avoiding a historically-low turnout, and to avoid any damage to relations with China.
But Rouhani told Maduro that Iran was ready to share its experience with other countries for an effective fight against the virus.
The commander of the Iranian army issued a similar message at a press conference on Tuesday.
Brig. Gen. Kiomars Heidari said that if the Supreme Leader gives approval, the army would share its experiences with other countries.